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Loving Monday: Staying in the Game

loving_mondayThere are times when simply getting the job done isn’t enough.

There are times when how the work was completed overshadows that the work was completed.

We all get weary. We all experience boredom, stress, and fatigue among other difficulties at work.

Very few of us can simply override these feelings by sheer force of will, working with as much vigor, enthusiasm and effort as we would in the best of times.

We need a way to stay in the game when work and life pressures are weighing heavily on our spirits.

Who would you give the promotion to? The person who is engaged or the person who is distracted? The person who is taking the initiative or the person who is doing the bare minimum?

Who would you give the job to? The person who believes in their ability to make a meaningful contribution or the person who is trying to get away from a bad supervisor? The person who is eager to jump in with both feet, or the person who wants to know how much overtime is expected?

We need a way to hold ourselves with poise and a comfortable confidence. We need a way to stay interested and engaged. We need a way to restore our energies and inject new life into our efforts.

Denying our weariness, our anger, or our frustrations is not a realistic path forward. Pretending to be someone we are not usually is pretty transparent and awkward.

Our best bet is to be totally honest with ourselves about the reasons and causes of our low spirits. Get it all out on the table. (A private, confidential table, of course.) And then begin addressing those factors one at a time.

Two things will happen.

One, you will immediately feel better about yourself merely because you are taking action. Before any of the difficulties have even begun to be resolved or changed, you will find energy in the dignity and power of choosing to take care of yourself and take decisive action.

Two, your focus will shift off of the debilitating fatigue, bitterness, or other feelings that are overwhelming you to developing ideas for changing the underlying causes of those feelings.

It is one thing to feel fatigue and be honest about it. It is another thing altogether to identify that the feeling arises from non-stop busyness. I can do something about being busy all of the time. I can commit to taking breaks. I can plan a relaxing weekend away. I can buy tickets for next summer’s vacation now, so that I will be financially committed before circumstances can talk me out of yet another vacation.

I am not suggesting that these choices are either obvious or easy to make. I am asserting that once they become specific choices  instead of vague feelings, your experience of your feelings will change from that of overwhelm and powerlessness to one of possibilities and personal power.

The shift will show up in your attitude. Your approach will become more constructive. Your energy levels will pick up. You are no longer a passive victim of a difficult job. You are an active player who has a difficult job.

How about you? What do you do to stay in the game even if you feel like you’re losing? What do you do to restore your energy levels and adjust your attitude when the job and life weighs heavy on you?

On your side,

– Karl Edwards

Loving Monday is a weekly column designed to encourage us to step into our weeks with an intention to show up authentically, engage fully, and choose to make it a good week for ourselves. Explore past columns here.

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