Two days ago I had a conversation with a friend who told me that his spirits at work are currently drained. He mentioned that he is tired and frankly one could see that he was down in the dumps.
Does this sound like you? Perhaps not all the time, but like with most things in life you may have that emotional roller coaster filled with moments where it seems as if everything is pointless, regardless of how hard you try to “work it out.”
We have all been there. I told him that you can walk down 2 paths at this point. The first path involves leaving your job, which I knew was not an option for him. The second path involved 3 things I have always done to keep my spirits high during moments where work was just work.
See, I am an advocate of creating your own way in life. When I was in the corporate world this was no different. Every job role I saw like my own business. How could I make it successful? Nonetheless, being human, being flawed I often had moments including as a manager where I felt like I was being sucked dry.
I said, look the dangerous thing about being in this state for a longer term is like the Gorilla’s I saw a while back at the zoo. (Magnificent creatures by the way.)
My friend replied, “I don’t get it.”
I said, my wife, our kids and I were in the zoo and we stood in the observatory in awe, quietly observing and watching and I was thinking to myself, “this ape could break out and seriously injure anyone here. Why doesn’t he?”
The reason he doesn’t is not only in regards to the design of his “cell,” but because he is tamed into ambivalence and lethargy. The same was happening to my friend at work. (At least this is what I heard out and he confirmed).
Taking that into account I said you can do 3 things to back to your grind:
I love exercising. I know it’s such a cliche, but to keep it simple the endorphins that the body releases are magical chemicals.
Just like the ape we saw at the zoo, our bodies yearn for physical movement and freedom. Your mind may not be in the game of exercising, especially if you’re a person who prefers a “comfortable” life, but in reality, all of us are animals. We are wired, whether male or female, from both a psychological and physiological standpoint to be predators. Work is one way of taming that “break-free” attitude. Incorporating exercise into your daily routine or several times a week will get your mind off of work-related problems.
Keep in mind. You are a predator. Take advantage of the fact and hone your skills. Take a walk to start moving. Take the stairs. Play tennis. Shoot some hoops. Whatever it may be, get your physical self-moving.
Hands down that over a short period of continuous activity your mind will become sharper, you will feel better and ultimately you’ll execute with a different mindset at work.
I did it when I was down dealing with monotonous work or unbearable people. It works. Give it a shot.
2. Get passionate
There were moments where I would watch my kid in the evening and see him play with his favorite plush animal or despite his young age, be totally wrapped up in a book. I’d ask my wife, do you remember that? As a kid, totally being encompassed by something. Completely passionate about such a simple thing like a plush dinosaur or teddy bear? I told my friend the same. Asking him, what he was doing next to work. Any projects? Utilizing his talents? His replay was no, it’s usually home, dinner, and some TV.
After giving him that question I said. You got to be like a kid. Kids have passion. I told him Jayden had such passion with this simple toys that it really made me wonder why I was lacking the passion to do all these projects I was working on, and rather making excuses as to why I was tired, etc.
I am fully convinced and believe that as children we are conditioned to grow up a certain way. So many requirements are heaped upon us, things we need to do, that we often forget about all the stuff we actually want to do.
I asked him, what is the ONE thing you really want to get done. Something you may have been putting off, something you continuously have an excuse for not getting around to accomplishing. For goodness sake I said, what do you love man?
He had a great reply. I said, “get excited about it!”
The same goes for anyone. When was the last time you got excited about something you literally could not sleep at night? Something that makes you want to get out of bed? During my school years, it was game day. I got my homework done, went to school, focused on getting through each loooong class, only to have the final bell ring to pack up and put on my uniform for a soccer game.
If it has been a while for you, then the task I am putting upon you now is to find the ONE passionate thing again. Just one. If you have a long list. Prioritize it and do the ONE thing at the very top.
Doing something on the side. Something you truly care about (even if you love your job), everything else in life will be much more satisfactory as a whole.
Do it. Reflect and see the change.
3. Hone your skills
Now you could argue that this fits under the above point, however, to me it’s different. I told my friend you can utilize your skills for a passion project, however honing any and all skills outside of work, whether it may be related to your job description or not, is something that will pull you out of the low as well.
Today, 2018, you have so many opportunities to hone and work on your craft. Whether you want to learn something completely new, like playing the cello or continue developing a skill, like programming that you may have. Today’s society offers everyone so many opportunities to develop personally. From MOOC’s (Massive Open Online Courses) on various websites like udacity all the way to courses from your local university. Anything can be done. You just need to GO OUT and DO IT. Daydreaming about living the good life and getting out of a rut is one thing. But if you really want to get off that low, you need to make an effort on your part and actually do it.
Our talk ended on a great note. I love helping people out and listening, dishing out advice where I can (or my point of view) on things. Nonetheless, I wanted to share this with all of you because being stuck in the rut is something I’ve gone through often and these things helped me to move on and climb back up to a high.
That being said, if you move your body, identify something you really want to get done, and/or really take the time to develop YOU, than remember, your job will be what you do inbetween your passions.
Go make it happen!