I see many people crave for more meaning at work. And think that to do that they need to work for an NGO or set up their own business.
The irony is that I have worked with NGOs and entrepreneurs. And often they feel disconnected from meaning too. So if it isn’t ‘location’ then what is the recipe for meaning at work?
The core shift is this... to understand that meaning is about your level of self-expression at work and your ability to influence your environment with it.
So the real question is not 'where do you need to go?'
But instead 'how can you nurture, express and realise your unique potential more? And through that have an impact that is positive and that you care about?'
Here are three ways to reintroduce meaning in your work right now:
1. Make it personal
Work becomes meaningless because we disconnect from ourselves in the process. We leave ourselves at the door.
We stop listening in to how we feel and what matters to us.
Emotions are important as they are direct messengers as to whether we are on track to realise our unique potential. Negative emotions are warning signs that we are heading the wrong way. Positive emotions say... keep going...this is the way...
But when we ignore them for too long we end up forgetting what is important.
So what would you do differently if you were to tune into your emotions? And to listen to what is important?
2. Show up as you
The aim of the game here is to get your work to match as much as possible your real potential.
So that you are not just adding random value. But real value - that comes from what is natural to you. And that you could become a real master at.
This is more than just what you are good at - it goes beyond just competence. It is about inspiration... what lights you up and gives you energy.
What would your day look like if you filled it with what inspires you?
3. Lead the way
Don’t wait for the perfect environment that will love you (!) I once read a quote that said: ‘You want to be a lighthouse. Then be willing to go to the dark places’.
It means taking a stand for what you care about. Ultimately it is about becoming the leader, the one that speaks up. The one who is the catalyst for real change - that transforms things.
So what do you wish you could speak up about more? And what could change if you did?
Louise is a Next Generation Leadership Catalyst and Advocate.
She helps leaders who are successful but feel that something is missing create and step into impact driven careers and leadership. Specifically she guides them align to purpose, create meaningful work and become the Next Generation Leaders they are meant to be. Aka the Visionaries, Innovators and System Shifters who are building the loving sustainable world of tomorrow where we can all flourish.
She is the Founder and CEO of Positive Energy Leaders and the Creator of The Positive Energy Academy - An online course, incubator and transformational community for leaders to create and sustain fulfilling, meaningful work that has a positive impact. Click here to find out more about the Positive Energy Academy
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