Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Taking Pride and Peace

I was talking today to a lovely fellow. He is a hard working man, someone who probably has weeks of "sick leave" that he will never use and happily works a little extra overtime because he is the manager and takes pride in doing a great job for his employer. But he was despairing that in Australia we have such a lot of unemployed people on benefits....he expressed that it seems "unfair" that some of us work so hard, pay lots of tax, experience stress daily in the workplace, while others collect unemployment benefits and have the government pay for them to attend courses in an effort to make them more employable. He said he wondered if he had done his own children a disservice in setting the example to work hard in their workplaces- that it might just lead them to feel stressed,as he often feels!
It got me thinking that I just couldn't agree with him on that because I think the best gift we can give our children is self respect. And taking pride in their acts(work, study, sport, any endeavour really) and encouraging them to do the best job they can, in whatever they do, is the best way a person can achieve that. So I think he's done a great job if he's achieved that! That way they will have pride in themselves, a strong sense of self respect, and happiness will follow. Sure, sometimes in the "striving" there might be some stress or struggle or even a lack of success; but just having the opportunity to have a goal gives one a purpose and I think people need that- more than ever these days. There should never be stress associated with doing your best or giving your best effort. Yet there often why?
In my own business, and with the clients I chat to, I've noticed some things regarding stress in workplaces and working groups. To start with it I think it helps to focus on what you are doing- and not what others aren't doing. Doing the latter is futile( and frustrating) because you've no actual control over the actions or inaction of another.
 I think stress and anxiety are not so much related to what a person does but more to how they do it. Lead by example by actually focusing on your task, considering it as you work, deliberately taking your time, really noticing the steps along the way, and not rushing yourself, doing the task to the best  of your ability, then looking back on the completed task for a few moments. This mindfulness process can be quite absorbing, even a little meditative. It's definitely productive because by noticing the process, rather than rushing yourself, you will make less mistakes . The few extra seconds it takes to work this way are so worthwhile because this method slows the hectic mind and you may be surprised to find it can leave you feeling quite clear headed and relaxed at the end! Also with a sense of fulfilment and pride at noticing what you've achieved. And more often than not a better result than working at a hectic pace and arriving at the outcome in a stressed, and sometimes unfriendly, state.
 This applies whether you work as a doctor, personal assistant, actor, lawyer, lifeguard, teacher, shop assistant, gardener, labourer, massage therapist, stay-at-home-parent etc. And being around people who work this way is a lot more enjoyable. They are calming, and that draws people to them. So it's very much a useful business tool as well!
Try working this way in whatever you do and success (and happiness) will follow.....

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