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Joy will sometimes find us on its own, but we’re generally responsible for going out and finding it ourselves. It’s an active search, not a passive waiting. In some ways, you can boil it down to two things — surrender and expression.
Whether you never intended to lead or you discovered along the way that it wasn’t for you, great! Always define (and re-define) success for yourself, and know that your definition can change over time.
In nearly every pursuit, people are quick to narrow things down to a single interpretation or narrative. That urge is so ingrained in us that we sometimes forget to challenge it. Simple is always better, right?
I recently dug into the concept of assessing and increasing your team’s level of commitment and ownership, but what if the person whose commitment you want to adjust is your own? It’s a different process when you’re looking in the mirror, so to speak. In some ways, it’s more difficult, if only because it requires more honest self-analysis.
Assessing and authentically increasing your team’s sense of ownership is more complex than handing out raises and other benefits (though to be clear, those things are very important). In simple terms, if you do more for your team, you can expect more from your team.
Simply put, positive well-being isn’t the absence of negative emotions. True wellness is a state of action with the freedom to oscillate between positive and negative states of mind. In fact, negative emotions are extremely important! Like all emotions, they have a beginning, middle, and an end, and if you try to take a detour, that stress will continue to live in your body.
Naturally, burnout and emotional exhaustion are contiguous to the never-ending list; they’re the result of carrying too much for too long. Adding an extra layer to the issue, so much of what we carry is invisible, and the people in our lives — spouses, partners, team members — may not realize how heavy our emotional backpacks are or how many bricks are inside.
Regardless of how you do your to-dos — digital calendars, whiteboards, journals, voice messages to yourself — there are methods of getting the best out of lists without allowing them to become a source of all-consuming stress. These include the mental check-in/check-out, identifying natural start and stop points, defining “good enough,” and setting boundaries.
So, here it is (...ironically) — a to-do list for coping with never-ending to-do lists:
What is inspiration? It can feel like a mystery at times — something transcendent that just, well, happens. And while there is a certain magical quality about it, inspiration is not entirely outside your control!