Thank God It’s Monday!
When was the last time you heard anyone say that?
#TGIM or Thank God It’s Monday is a phrase I came across last week. It’s been around for some time and made its way into the urban dictionary. But consider, for a moment, the gravity of this phrase.
How many of us count ourselves ‘lucky’ to have a job we love and to live a life that is driven by purpose – our purpose?
In today’s world, it seems as if almost everyone thinks in terms of TGIF. People work hard at their job, they put in long hours yet they don’t feel that sense of autonomy and purpose that causes them to rise with enthusiasm every Monday. They wait with fervour for the weekend when they can drown out the sorrows of the week by engaging in activities that dull the senses.
I am so lucky to have this job
How many of us count ourselves ‘lucky’ to have a job we love and to live a life that is driven by purpose – our purpose? Not many.
Throughout the year, we are bombarded by messages and news about the state of the economy, tips and tricks to drive employee engagement, educational initiatives to help us coach better, ramp performance up and consider variations in our reward packages.
Do these actually address the real issue?
What are the three stages?
Ron Thomas introduced TGIM to me last week when we successfully ran a Strategic HR Business Partner certification course here in Kuala Lumpur. In his class, he referred to the different stages one undergoes, namely, first, having a job; second, having a career; and third, fulfilling a calling.
Where are you at?
Are you happy where you are?
If you’re not, what are you doing about it?
These are hard questions, make no mistake, but these are also insightful questions that if addressed put the power back in your hands. Answering these questions provides the meaning you seek and helps you address what is wrong with your situation.
No one owes you a job, much less a career.
Find the answer within
No one owes you a job, much less a career. No one is going to be as invested as you are in helping you find meaning in your work. In fact, no one can connect the dots in your life better than you can.
So, what should you do? You know what happens if you choose to do nothing. Take action, carve out a path and a position of distinction you can live with.
You don’t need to have all the answers immediately.
Move forward with a sense of curiosity and wonderment at what is around you.
Explore what works and what doesn’t.
Tap into what matters to you.
How do you know when it’s beginning to work? That’s easy. Life feels good. You awake with enthusiasm and vigour. When you face challenges, you feel empowered enough to consider that you can resolve them. You take charge of all the minutes and hours of your day, filling them with purpose and when you take care of the minutes and hours, you take care of the years.
That’s easy. Life feels good. You awake with enthusiasm and vigour. When you face challenges, you feel empowered enough to consider that you can resolve them. You take charge of all the minutes and hours of your day, filling them with purpose and when you take care of the minutes and hours, you take care of the years.
The plan forward
If you are unsure of your path, if you are struggling to work within the boundaries that seem to have befallen you, if you’re unhappy where you are, it is time to do something about it. The first and most important step is to look inward. Waste no time in getting guidance from outside, from what has been tried and tested and from what makes sense to others.
The first and most important step is to look inward. Waste no time in getting guidance from outside, from what has been tried and tested and from what makes sense to others.
To be true to you, look inward and take notes. Listen to your internal dialogue. Consider, for a moment, a life that you would like to carve for yourself, uninhibited by your present circumstances. You arrive at your destination when you know where it is. Listen to the struggle within, address your fears. Make clear distinctions about what you consider important and then what you consider urgent.
Take pride in the knowledge that action is a powerful motivator. You could spend a lot of time procrastinating and considering all options. You could also spend a lot of time perfecting, never really making that launch. Consider your career and your life a work in progress. You need not be perfect or have all the answers because you will launch and reiterate as you go forward.
Lastly, consider that fear – the thing that holds you back – is a necessary part of the process and that your courage in moving closer to your goals is not about the absence of fear but the willingness to act in spite of it.
This article has been adapted and was originally published in the New Straits Times in December 2016.
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