According to an article in Forbes last year:
If you don’t like your job, you are not alone. According to a massive released yesterday by Gallup, the Washington, D.C.-based polling organization, there are twice as many “actively disengaged” workers in the world as there are “engaged” workers who love their jobs.
Since the late 1990s, Gallup has been measuring international employee satisfaction through a survey it has been honing over the years. In total it has polled 25 million employees in 189 different countries. The latest version, released this week, gathered information from 230,000 full-time and part-time workers in 142 countries.
Overall, Gallup found that only 13% of workers feel engaged by their jobs. That means they feel a sense of passion for their work, a deep connection to their employer and they spend their days driving innovation and moving their company forward.
The vast majority, some 63%, are “not engaged,” meaning they are unhappy but not drastically so. In short, they’re checked out. They sleepwalk through their days, putting little energy into their work.
A full 24% are what Gallup calls “actively disengaged,” meaning they pretty much hate their jobs. They act out and undermine what their coworkers accomplish.
Add the last two categories and you get 87% of workers worldwide who, as Gallup puts it, “are emotionally disconnected from their workplaces and less likely to be productive.” In other words, work is more often a source of frustration than one of fulfillment for nearly 90% of the world’s workers. That means that most workplaces are less productive and less safe than they could be and employers are less likely to create new jobs. (Emphasis added.)
If this is you, here’s how to make your job exciting
So the chances are that nine out of the ten people who read this blog post are not excited and turned on by their job and are working only for the money. If you are one of those for whom this is true, I’m going to tell how you can enjoy your job and feel passionate about it.
No, I’m not going to tell you to quit and find another job nor am I going to tell you to shoot your boss. I’m going to tell you how you can change your experience of your job regardless of what the boss says or does.
Obviously, a company and boss who listen to you, give you an opportunity to contribute, provide you with whatever you need to do your job, and acknowledge your contribution make it very easy for you to feel passionate about going to work. But because this is not how most companies and bosses operate, you will have to change something inside of you because you are unlikely going to be able to change anything outside of you.
You forgot your life is a game
When you play a game, be it a sport like golf or tennis, or a card game like poker, or a board game like Clue or Monopoly, you feel good when you win and bad when you lose vytorin price. Why? Because you have arbitrarily accepted that something is better than something else. You try to get the little white ball in a hole hundreds of yards away in less tries than someone else. Is it really “better” to do that? No, there is nothing about the nature of reality that makes it better. It’s better because we say so, and only because we say so. The same is true for any sport or any game.
Yet despite the fact that we arbitrary made up rules that said something is better than something else, we get excited when we “win” (in other words, do what the rules require better than others) and sad or even upset when we “lose.” What does it really mean if we win or lose? Take a moment and think about it. … Can you get that it really means nothing. But because we “pretend” that it matters, we give all we can give, mentally and physically, to winning and not losing, and we have positive emotions when we win and negative emotions when we lose.
And yet, despite those reactions, some part of us knows that we are playing a game. We know that at some point we will put the game away and go back to “real life,” to our family and career. So although we have emotional reactions to how well we play the game, the feelings only go down so far and not farther, because we know it is a game. The emotions engendered by a game are rarely as intense as those in “real life.”
How to create your work as a game
It is possible to turn your work into a game. Here is a simple exercise that many of my students have played that enabled them to turn an unpleasant, boring, or distasteful job into a game they enjoyed playing.
First, choose a game that you enjoy playing. Close your eyes and imagine playing the game, be it a board game, a card game, or a sport. … OK. Now imagine playing your best and losing. How do you feel? … Now imagine playing your best and winning. How do you feel? … Notice that a game, where winning or losing has no real meaning, can result in positive and negative emotions.
Second, identify and then dissolve any meaning and unlearn any beliefs that you may have about work and working.
Third, create a work game. Make something that isn’t inherently important, important, just because you say so. For example, making money. Or creating a new start up. Or becoming vice president of your firm. Or whatever. Do that for yourself right now. … Make up the goal of the game, what it will take for you to “win” at the game.
After you’ve defined the work game, ask yourself what does it mean if you win? … If you lose? … Notice that winning and losing have no inherent meaning. When you get that winning has no inherent meaning, you will not be attached to winning. The same with losing. And you can play full out in an attempt to win.
Once you do that, imagine winning the game. … How does it feel? … Notice there is a positive emotion even though winning the game has no inherent meaning and you are not attached to winning.
How I hold my work
The game I play at work every day is “To empower people to free themselves from their stress and suffering and create unimagined new possibilities for their lives.” I don’t think this game is any better than any other and it’s not something I should do. Many other people would have no interest at all in doing this daily.
And yet I am passionate about it and do it to the best of my ability every single day, despite the fact that I am not attached to the result. When something happens that manifests that mission, like creating a new process, I get excited for a short time. And then I think about what to do next. When something doesn’t go the way I intended, like not filling a course, I am disappointed for a moment. And then I think about what to do next.
The real excitement for me lies in playing the game, not in any particular result I produce on any given day. In other words, the results do not interfere with my enjoyment of playing.
For me, it’s the best game in town, but it is still only a game. I don’t think I’ll ever voluntarily stop playing, but if I had to for some reason, I’d be okay.
Would you like to be one of the 10% who love their jobs?
This coming week I want you to practice this exercise at least once a day. The goal is to get to the point where you feel excited and happy when you win and disappointed when you lose—where you are totally involved in playing the game, without being attached to the outcome.
The passion and excitement come from playing the game; not from the result. This is similar to the old adage: Life is about the journey, not the destination.
This really does work. I used this exercise in my Advanced Lefkoe Freedom Courses and participants were able to transform their experience of work. Please try it and write a comment about your experience. You have nothing to lose but any unhappiness, boredom, distaste, and anger you might feel about your job.
Thanks for reading my blog. Please post your questions or comments on creating work as a game. Disagreement is as welcome as agreement. Your comments add value for thousands of readers. I love to read them all and I will respond to as many as I can.
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Copyright © 2014 Morty Lefkoe