In the gale-force windstorm of industry and expectation, demand and disappointment, paperwork and power plays that defines the modern workplace, it’s no surprise that a person’s sense of spiritual connection is in constant peril. But scoring inner peace on the job is an entirely achievable forecast.
A half dozen tips for finding your cloud’s silver lining:
• Meditate. As daunting and off-puttingly new-agey an exercise as this may seem to some, meditation is actually a surprisingly grounded approach to catching your breath. Quite literally. Take five minutes a day to steal away to a private corner of the supply closet, the breakroom or even your car, to think of… nothing. With time, patience and practice, your efforts to clear the mental decks will bear serious fruit.
• Visualize. By focusing your mental energies on what you want to happen in a certain situation, you take great steps toward seeing it through. Consider pointedly where you want to go, and what it will take to get you there. And actually get a picture of yourself achieving your desired outcome. Such mindful ruminations are eminently useful for blasting through the cobwebs and remembering the prize.
• Assess situational victories — and roadblocks — regularly. By understanding why a certain approach isn’t paying off as we’d anticipated, we can eliminate it and replace it with something more productive. More than that, by examining the details of what might appear to be a hopeless situation, we gain appreciation for the little bits — however miniscule — that are actually doing the trick. Either way, we come out of the exercise better informed and more grateful than when we went in.
• Take stock of your happy things. Too often, we let those developments in our lives that please us go by unacknowledged. We catch sight of a morning dove or prepare the perfect lunch or finish a challenging workout and let the event pass without reflection. But the moments that please us are the most important of all. Make a point of thinking of them, at least a couple of times every day, and let the joy inspire take root.
• Simplify. The next time you’re struggling with a particularly stubborn challenge, strip the thing to its bare bones and look at it again. Think about what is really necessary to the endeavour and junk everything else. Anything that taxes your time and requires your effort that isn’t adding value needs to be eliminated. Full stop.
• Keep an accomplishment log. It’s too easy to forget the goals we reached yesterday in the mud of the goals we’re setting for today. A catalogue of their blessed achievement is a fantastic idea for celebrating the little victories that populate our workaday lives. Such an inventory — go for a weekly or monthly schedule — will also help highlight where you were most effective and where you need to work a bit harder. And by committing the lot of them to paper, you cement them forever as positive reminders of your worth.