Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment. The Buddha
Be Your Own Boss
A boss once told me, "you've never had a boss in your life." I have to admit it's true.
This doesn't mean I'm a rude or unmanageable employee. It means I judge myself by an internal set of criteria, not those set by an organization. I guide my actions by my life mission and sense of purpose, and I trust myself to handle whatever comes.
In the current economic climate, in which hard work and excellent skills don't guarantee you a job, learning how to be your own boss ~ especially if you're an employee~ is an important survival skill.
Fear Leads to Mistrust and Self Doubt
Layoffs and unrest at work can make you weary, questioning and mistrustful. Who's next? Is my job safe? Should I be looking for another job? If they can do that to him, what's stopping them from doing that to me?
The threat of losing your job can be real. But the real threat isn't losing your job. It's losing faith in yourself and your ability to influence the course of your own life.
As long as you believe in yourself, you can always get another position. But lose faith in your valuable skills and good work ethic and your self-confidence falters. Now filled with self-doubt, if you do get laid off it's much harder to find work.
Move from Self Doubt to Self Confident
When fear reigns supreme at work, don't let the fear-bug give you a bad case of self-doubt. Become your own boss in charge of your future by consciously concentrating your attention on you, your skills and what motivates you at least once daily.
Watch your tendency to overwork in response to the free-floating fear at work. Like many others, you may have difficulty taking time to focus on yourself when you become frightened by the instability and unrest at work. But you can't save your job by overworking and leaving yourself too tired to center yourself. Mistakes happen and tempers flare.
Most people are just too tired at the end of the day to sit calmly and think about their life purpose. This is why I recommend you set aside quiet time first thing each morning.
Plan to give yourself the first thirty minutes of the day. If you have kids or other attention grabbers (like work), get up earlier to give yourself uninterrupted self-centered time. Turn off the cell phone. Leave email, twitter, and facebook for later. Now ~ sit quiet ~ practice the pause ~ and ask yourself questions. There are no perfect questions and no perfect answers. Whatever you focus your attention on will grow ~ and that includes your career.
Knowing the Right Question to Ask is Half the Solution
As Albert Einstein said, "knowing the right question to ask is half the solution." Start your daily self-centered session by making a list if questions that may interest you.
What are the questions I need to ask myself?Keep listing questions until one of them pops out and catches your attention. Pick one question to address and list possible answers to the question. Allow yourself to answer without concern for the truth. You may discover something that sounds outlandish or impossible at first, isn't such a bad idea.
What work skills do I have?
What is my ideal job?
What skills do I need to develop for my ideal job?
What do I enjoy doing?
If I was to have a next career, what would it be?
What is the most important thing on my mind right now?
If there was one thing I'd like to do more than anything else, what would it be? What is my sense of purpose? What is my life mission?
I like the more primitive feel of writing on a piece of paper or in a journal instead of using the computer during these morning musings. It taps into a different part of my brain and slows the pace down. Later, I reinforce my focus by working on the computer to summarizing what I learned about myself.
Let Your Internal Motivations Guide Your Actions at Work
The more time you spend discovering, or rediscovering, your sense of purpose and mission, the more your daily actions will be guided internally, and less influenced by the environment of fear.
If you think about it, your internal motivators will do a better job of guiding your actions than any externally derived mission statement. How many people do you know whose sense of purpose is to destroy, annoy or un-employ others? And how many people do you know whose ultimate goal is to be un-involved, and dis-engaged? Exactly! Very few.
When we live out of a sense of purpose or mission, we mean to 'do good' by others and make a positive contribution to the world around us. Mission-driven people fail to see the obstacles because their eyes are clearly on the goal.
In times of economic uncertainty, wondering whether your organization will keep you won't help. Put your trust in yourself.
Trust yourself to do a good job now and in the future. Trust yourself to find a good job if you get laid off. And trust your ability to work hard and develop new skills if necessary.
Things haven't changed that much ~ a good hard worker with valuable skills is still an asset to any organization.
If you are unclear about your sense of purpose or mission there's no time like NOW to give it some thought. It's your life. Take the time to guide it in the direction you want it to go.
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