Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Discover Your Passion

Image Courtesy: Google Images
Discover Your Passion - Bindiya Murgai
(The author is a neuro linguistic programming life coach & inner work therapist) 

Weave in a few conscious measures into your work life and see how everything changes for the better
Spirituality and the workplace may seem like an oxymoron; after all it is difficult to ‘be spiritual’ in a crowded, competitive, materialistic and often frustrating environment. To find the Divine there may seem a little challenging, at first, because most traditional spiritual disciplines are not designed to help you do that. But irrespective of whether you are a BPO executive, doctor, lawyer, architect or artist, you can weave spirituality into your work life with a few conscious measures.

Start with the belief that you can turn the grind of your workplace into grist for your spiritual mill. Then adopt the following measures and see how your life changes.

1. Identify Your Personal Values: 
These values are the ones that give you the greatest joy and satisfaction. You feel deeply passionate about them as they come naturally and do not create any internal conflict. These values often surface during challenging times or when you are forced to make difficult life choices, such as after great personal or professional loss, the onset of a serious illness, an operation or burnout.

Most people’s innermost values emanate from family, work, self and service. These could include personal accomplishments, security, independence, friendships, integrity, power or community work. Identify yours and write them down. Then have a look at them every day.

2. Get Work-life Balance: 
Once you have narrowed down on your innermost values, reorganise your work and activities around them. For example, if you need more work-life balance, then start by planning your day more efficiently. Avoid spending too much time on social networking sites, coffee breaks or chat sessions and procrastination. You will be amazed at how much time you will save.

Be open to realistically realigning your ambitions accordingly. Take on only as much as you can comfortably manage within your regular working hours. Learn to say “No”. It is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself.

3. Practise Work Wisdom: 
Be understanding with your peers and colleagues, irrespective of their power or position. Avoid being part of office politics and discourage your team from doing so. Keep your interactions transparent. Minimise conflict; nip it in the bud by having a straightforward chat with the person concerned.

Keep an open mind and be tolerant of other people’s opinions, even the ones you disagree with. Your life will become less stressful when you minimise conflict, a lot of which is anyway a result of your own rigidity and intolerance. Remember that if you considered the life experiences of others, you would probably be just like them. This understanding is wisdom.

4. Authenticity In Communication: 
If you have a team, encourage them to talk honestly and without fear. Create a ‘safe space’ in which people feel free to speak the truth without fear of reprisal. And practice the same yourself. Most issues get resolved once you allow people to be truthful in a safe and respectful environment. Creative solutions emerge and people feel more connected and aligned. Each individual then gives their best, making team's and organization's blossom.

5. Be Compassionate: 
There will always be times when a colleague misses a deadline, does a shoddy job, underperforms, reports late or displays bad attitude. Your first instinct at such times may be anger, harsh words or frustration. And while your reactions may be normal, given the overwhelming pressures of today’s workplace, just take a few deep breaths before sailing into anyone. Focus on yourself and recall a time when you may have been in a similar position. This is the beginning of compassion.

6. Embrace Personal Growth: 
Personal growth is the result of introspection and taming your ego. At work, you could start this process by learning to see the difference between disagreements and personal attacks, between feedback and criticism. Don’t let your ego get in the way of absorbing relevant inputs from co-workers as that could actually help your own growth.

7. Do What You Like Doing: 
If you are not passionate about your work, be honest and identify where your real passion lies. Once you have done that, try to either integrate it within your work or make a planned shift to making a livelihood out of what you are most passionate about. 

Recently a vice president of an IT company discovered his passion for making chocolates.

He started distributing samples to his colleagues and they were giving him large orders for Deepavali and other occasions. Two years later, his orders became so large that he quit his job and became a full-time chocolatier. Life has been pretty sweet ever since!

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