Work Mirrored by Life

How you approach your work is a direct reflection of how you show up for life.

I know a woman who is a junior high school teacher. I’ve never seen anyone work harder. She spends nearly half her summer vacation preparing for the next school year and during each semester, she works weekends to keep up. She does it for the children and they don’t seem to appreciate it.

She does the same thing at home, spending countless hours cleaning, preparing meals, and running errands. She does it for her family and they don’t seem to appreciate it.

I know a man who is a very successful insurance salesman. He spends a lot of time with his customers finding out about their lives—asking questions about their work, their families and their hobbies. He also finds out about their insurance needs but not before he gets to know them.  He enjoys learning about people.

He is the same way with family and friends—always interested in what they’re doing, where they’ve been and how their lives are going.

The difference between these two people can be found in the “why” of what they do. The teacher doesn’t work hard because she enjoys it. She is self-sacrificing, a bit of a martyr.  The salesman, on the other hand, truly enjoys his interaction with people, both at work and in his personal life.

Since the Law of Attraction dictates that you get more of what you focus on, you can guess that the teacher gets less and less appreciation each year while the salesman is surrounded by more and more interesting people (who often turn into customers.)

How does your approach to work reflect your approach to life?

Do you only take what someone gives you, never asking for what you want or need?

Instead of being proactive, do you sit around waiting for someone to tell you what to do?

Are you always trying to please others rather than making sure that you are taken care of?

As I think about my own approach to work I can see the correlation to my life.  I tend to get very excited about ideas and turn them into projects. I do a lot of work on one project, only to get distracted by the next exciting idea.  I have many unfinished projects both at work and in my personal life.

What I know, after years of coaching people to leverage their natural gifts, is that it is nearly impossible to turn a weakness into a strength.  Simply put, I am unsystematic.  I could concentrate my efforts on becoming more systematic but the best I could do after expending a massive amount of energy is to improve a little bit (maybe).  And it wouldn’t make me happy because I would be fighting my natural tendencies.

The solution for me has been twofold:

  1. I have become comfortable working on projects piecemeal. They don’t always get done as quickly as I’d like but they get done eventually.
  2. If a project is truly important, I trick myself into having to get it done by promising a delivery date to someone.  If I only commit a deadline to myself, I can always justify delays. I would rarely do that with a customer or a loved one.

Why is it so important to learn to manage areas of weakness?  The Law of Attraction dictates that you get more of what you focus on.  A weakness that is causing you problems at work or at home will become a focal point. The more you focus on what’s not working, the more things will go wrong.  (When I focused on all my unfinished projects, not only did my productivity slow down, I felt crazed.) When instead you figure out a solution and make that your focus, you easily attract more of what you want.

Change your focus, change your life is not just a clever saying.  Applying it can change your life. Instead of taking your weaknesses from work into your personal life, and vice-versa, learn your strengths and focus on utilizing them fully.  If you’re not sure what they are, ask your friends. They all know, even if you’re blind to them.

Focus, focus, focus…..

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