What makes work enjoyable is the same across all work settings. It has to do with finding your work meaningful and challenging. Finding it meaningful has to do with feeling a degree of control over it – and being appreciated for your efforts. It has to do with feeling you’re in the right place for what you have to offer. And that doesn’t come easily. Sometimes it takes half a career to find all these factors coming together. Some fortunate individuals find it fairly early in their careers; others may be so unfortunate as to never discover it in their working life.
The application of connecting to others is not always easily described. It has, in part, to do with authenticity in the moment, the awareness of making responsible choices from existing options, looking at what is now possible within a context of limitations, and searching for win-win outcomes. It has to do with taking the ego out of the driver’s seat and replacing it with what the Tibetans call “noble heart.”
Let’s take a closer look at that term. Among other things, nobility has to do with high character, generosity, and exceptional qualities, with grand appearance and lofty ideals. More than mere empathy, noble heart involves taking the long view for others as well as yourself. It means revealing your intentions so as to pave the way for others to decide whether or not they’re ready to follow. It means being ready to reveal your character so that others may choose what you mean to them. All this gives shape to the essence of connecting with others.
The end effect of this concept is that you begin to feel more fulfillment at work because you’ve chosen to involve deeper aspects of yourself. Whatever your job, whatever your level of responsibility, whatever the nature of your work setting, you and you alone can choose how much candor, integrity, and awareness there will be in your day-to-day job. This is not a simple process, not a magic bullet for happiness at work, not without much effort to dislodge your stubborn ego. And the job of getting there is never completed – because your ego is still necessary, even when it’s invited to take a backseat. That ego will make itself known, time and again, and well it should – none of us can survive without it. But now it’s in a servant rather than a master role – most of the time, if you can manage it.
To the extent you can enter the process of facing your real self, your work will become not only more meaningful, satisfying, and enjoyable, but also easier. This aspect has to do with such total involvement in doing your work that you occasionally enter what athletes refer to as “the zone.” You become so enjoyably engrossed in your work that time just is – it simply flies by.
How do you build, nurture, and capitalize on your relationships? Take our Free Relationship Signature Index assessment which will identify you in one of four quadrants with a high level profile and a set of recommendations.