One of my favorite mentors always asks “are you skipping to work?”
When you are skipping to work, you wake up before the alarm, and are excited about the day. When skipping, the most challenging part is juggling and prioritizing all the creative things you want to accomplish.
I find that when I am skipping, others are attracted to the scene and generally are excited to skip along.
I skip when I am in the right job. And usually, I can skip when I am in the “wrong” job because somehow I work to transform it into the “right” job by focusing on the aspects that make it fun.
For me, skipping always involves developing people and turning things around. When the politics get too thick, or the hardest transformational work is done, I find my energy a bit harder to muster. When energy gets low, I look deep to see what I can change about me, or my situation.
I have found it useful to stay in touch with my own energy barometer. It is tough to lead well, or achieve good results unless the answers to these questions are “yes” most of the time.
- Am I excited to wake up in the morning, and energized about the possibilities for my day?
- Does what I am doing feel important?
- Do I come home wanting to share stories I am proud of?
- Am I constantly thinking of what to do next?
- Am I sharing an engaging vision that others are excited to follow?
- Do people comment on my passion and excitement?
Gretchen Rubin has a great book about taking an intentional project-based approach to finding happiness in your personal life. (http://happiness-project.com )
I use a similar approach at work. It is helpful to make a deliberate list of what is bringing us joy, and what is not and making plans from there. Often there are small shifts that can make a big difference. Sometimes, this approach can lead to more dramatic change.