Mindful Leadership: Are You Engaged At Work? At Home?
What gets you out of bed in the morning? Is it the work you do? Or perhaps the people that work with you? And what about your engagement in things you do outside of work. Do they have the power to make you look forward to the day?
Reflecting on these kind of questions from time to time is an important part of living your best life. They invite you to stop, step off the treadmill of constant busyness and take a good look at where you are and where you want to be.
Everyone’s answers to these reflection questions will be different. But in my experience, they will have a common thread….connection. Some will feel that the work connects them to being of service as, for example, a provider of a product or service that supports others (clients, patients, students, customers). Some will feel a connection to their co-workers as a strong team member or as a mentor to younger co-workers.
Maybe it is simply a paycheck that allows you to connect with something special in your non-work time. One of the Institute’s retreat participants explained how he was able to stay engaged at work, “I work all week so I can have the money I need to sail on the weekends with my family!” His motivation was the ability to connect with those he loved.
Ultimately it is these connections that give meaning to our lives. It is what keeps us interested in what and who is around us, and it keeps us from feeling isolated and alone. There are so many recent studies that find an ever-increasing feeling of disengagement in the workplace, most showing about 2/3 of employees regularly feeling disengaged. It is no coincidence to me that those studies are now being joined by an increase in the number of workers who report feeling isolated at work and at home.
It is easy to point to the reasons why this is so-too much technology, too much busyness, too many distractions. And we have begun to lose sight of the importance of connecting through conversation instead of texts. (You can look more deeply into mindful communication in “Do You Know How To Mindfully Communicate?”). But the most important first step toward living your best life is to do a little exploration of your current life.
Do you feel engaged at work? At home? If not, how are you finding ways to enhance or generate connections? What small steps might be taken to make your workplace more conducive to making those connections? How can you take a small step to enhance a personal connection with a friend or a loved one?
What will make you look forward to getting out of bed tomorrow? And the next day?