You can make a conscious choice to live with positivity.
Everyone wants to live an inspired life at work—to feel excited, engaged and alive. We want a work life in which we have maximum confidence, feel fulfilled and make a true difference; where we expect the good and it comes to us freely and easily.
Admittedly, our work lives don’t always work out that way. Sometimes they can feel heavy, uncertain and difficult. Even when things appear to be going well, work often throws us challenges we don’t expect. So how does one stay inspired at work while constantly presented with new challenges? We have to choose it, and choose it consistently.
Being inspired is a conscious choice. It’s a decision. It’s not something that will magically happen without some level of regular effort. We must decide be inspired at work, as opposed to waiting for it to come to us.
We are creating every minute with our thoughts, and our thoughts absolutely create our destiny. In every moment we are choosing between two worlds—the world of ego or the world of spirit.
The more we live in the ego column, the less control we have, the more life feels like an uphill battle, the more resistance we experience. The more we live in the spirit column, the easier things become, the more we feel in alignment with ourselves and others, and life begins to flow.
Here are five simple strategies I use to live in the spirit column or to stay inspired at work:
Stop observing life and start intending it.
A large percentage of people wake up in the morning, go to work and hope for a good day. These individuals live life in observation mode. If they have a day where things go well, they observe the positive and they feel good. If they have a day where things don’t go well, they observe the challenging things and they feel bad. Living in observation mode is an emotional rollercoaster leading to loss of control.
To feel inspired on a daily basis, we need to expect a good day, not hope for one. Take a look at your schedule today and declare what you want to happen in each part of your day. I do it in the form of an affirmative prayer, but do it in the way that works best for you.
When you get to work, and you have a client meeting at 9 a.m., are you optimistic of a positive result? How about the staff meeting at 11 a.m.? Are you anticipating that it will be tense, or a waste of time, or are you envisioning a meeting that goes smoothly? See your day going the way you want in your mind, and you’ll be surprised at how much life begins to correspond to the thoughts you hold about it.
Do your best.
We all have things that frustrate us at work, and sometimes we use those things as justifiable reasons to not do our best. When we don’t bring our best, the organization we work for suffers, as do our teammates and the clients we serve. The person who pays the biggest price, however, is you.
When you’re not bringing the best of you, performance suffers. De-motivation can set in. Inspirational ideas become much harder to access, leading to a loss in creativity. Supervisors and co-workers begin to notice, leading to interactions or work scenarios that aren’t helpful. You stop feeling good about yourself at work, which can often lead to negative, internal messaging. The list could go on and on.
When you make a decision to do your best (and it is a decision), the benefits are almost instantaneous. You begin to feel better about yourself, you have more impact, your excellent job performance gets noticed by supervisors, and a funny thing happens along the way. You become far more optimistic of an amazing future.
Doing your best leads you to become more personally and professionally—more skillful, creative, resilient and more valuable. When you become more valuable it invariably leads to greater opportunities for advancement at work and life.
Look for the best in others.
It’s hard to achieve any kind of real momentum or inspiration at work, or in life, when one is harboring negative thoughts about other people, whether it be a co-worker, supervisor or a client. If you’re holding a negative thought toward someone else and you keep focusing on how much that person has upset you, you’re naturally in a negative emotional state. That makes it difficult to reach for happy, peaceful thoughts or to take real, inspired action toward anything. So it’s of vital importance that you clean up your negative thoughts toward others.
In the end, we cannot control how others show up in our lives at work. They have free will just as we do, and they are going to do what they’re going to do. With that said, you always have a choice on how you see others and respond to them. That’s where your real power is.
Simple, subtle changes in how you view others and respond to them can make an enormous difference in terms of how you feel. And when you’re feeling good, things have a tendency to start going your way with more frequency.
Before I have a meeting with someone, I visualize that we will be harmonious, enjoy each other’s company and that the meeting will go well. I make an intention to look for the best in them, and if they show me something that is of concern, rather than be overly upset or defensive, I treat them with patience and understanding. By cleaning up my thoughts about the other person, I naturally meet them with more loving and accepting energy. They sense that, and they begin to change their response to me almost instantaneously.
Appreciate and be grateful.
The simple practice of appreciating and being grateful for all that’s good at work is one of the most powerful ways of staying inspired.
The longer you focus upon things that feel good, the easier it is for you to maintain the emotional state of feeling good. The more you feel good, the more expectant you are of good coming into your life. When you’re expecting good, and not expecting resistance, the more you’re able to tap into your intuition, creativity and imagination. You start having better ideas, higher ideas about what’s possible. Since you’re feeling good and expecting more of it to come, you are more courageous in your actions. Greater ideas combined with more courageous or inspired actions lead to better results because not only do you have a better sense of direction, you have the persistence and the fortitude to carry that direction out.
Sometimes we resist good coming into professional lives because we’re so busy focusing on what’s not working or what’s absent. On a daily basis, be intentional about affirming the good you already have at work and you’ll open yourself up to receiving more good.
Observe those people in your life who are consistently being appreciative and grateful for all they have. Their lives work better because they expect that they will.
Release and reset.
Research suggests we think anywhere from 12,000–60,000 thoughts a day and over 70 percent of those thoughts are negative. While I don’t know if those statistics are fully accurate, I think it’s safe to say that we have a lot of thoughts and a good percentage of them are negative.
No matter how positive we are, negative thoughts do creep in from time to time, and we have to be intentional about addressing them right away.
Your thoughts have real power—the power to make your life wonderful or miserable, to create or destroy, or to bring a world of good into your life or block it entirely. So it’s important that you monitor your thoughts carefully and stop yourself from going down paths that do not serve you.
One technique that I use to keep myself on a constant, positive trajectory is the strategy of “release and reset.” When I have a negative thought at work, rather than focus on it for any length of time, which would only attract more negative thoughts, I release it. Once released, I think of a positive, affirming thought I can say to myself to replace it. I then affirm it multiple times in my mind to make sure it takes hold. Shortly thereafter, I’m feeling good again.
If you implement the strategy of “release and reset” each time you hold a negative thought, you’ll find yourself in a regular state of inspiration.