Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Want to be happy? Mentally 'fire' your boss

By Ren Butler

If you want to be happy in life you must make a binding promise to yourself to never work FOR an organisation or boss ever again. Instead you must work with an organisation or partner. If you read that statement and start to think of all the reasons why you can’t do that anytime soon, this article is for you! I’m really glad you’re taking the time to think about your happiness and value within your chosen career path. It’s not that you aren’t able to build respect and meaning into your working life, it’s just that it takes a leap outside your present comfort zone. There’s no reason why anyone with access to community support, education and opportunities can’t have a rewarding, respectful and healthy work-life.
These days, work is at the centre of our time and financial priorities. So if we allow ourselves to feel controlled and replaceable in order to feed ourselves, we’re either nothing but meat robots working as cogs in a global financial widget machine or we’re mentally indentured servants. Last I checked, technology and global data systems were supposed to free up human capital to do what humans do best, communicate, connect and create. Arduous, bureaucratic employment engines seem to be very slow to recognise the true meaning and value of human resources. This means we as individuals must take the reigns in creating this change within our productivity landscape.
We’re frequently reminded to check-in with our biological and financial health at various points in life. Why don’t we make it a priority to regularly check in with our work-life health? Unfortunately, those two words are most commonly associated with the concept of ‘balance’. The problem with that is that perpetuates the underlying assumption that the two have to be at odds with each other. In the modern urban existence, the majority of us must work to live and live to work. (I don’t know too many legitimately cash-flow positive dead people.) So why would any sane person accept an unhealthy work-life existence? Time and resource balance should be prioritised the same across your personal and professional existence.

I challenge you to ask yourself these questions to check in with your personal work-life health:

If you received a call that one of your loved ones was in a serious accident and had to walk out the door ASAP, would your employer and co-workers be completely supportive?
Do you feel like you have to be another person at work in order to be accepted?
If you came into a huge pile of money that rendered it unnecessary to work ever again would you want to keep doing what you’re doing?
If you have issue with these questions or are not content with the answers you come up with…You’re likely not doing the right thing with the right team or community for the right reasons! Congratulations, you’ve taken the first step by admitting you have a problem. The important thing now is committing to the challenging path ahead to remedy this imbalance in your work-life health. Much like crash diets or overnight financial success plans don’t have a high statistical likelihood of sticking, a work-life overhaul needs to be incremental as well.
From the questions above, decide on one of the key things that would make your daily existence more enjoyable. Brain storm as many ways you could possibly start creating a more enjoyable daily work-life and give them a score from 1-3 (easy to hard). It could help to ask a close friend to help you with this if possible, a little outside perspective can be indispensable. Start with attempting some of the easiest changes you can come up with and work your way up to some of the harder ones. If possible, see if you can source a work-life mentor from your existing social circles and go to that person periodically for guidance and a check-in. They don’t have to have a perfect life, just be somebody with whom you hold a deep mutual respect.
These are all things I have personally questioned, challenged and changed over the past year of my life. I’ve gone from working menial casual jobs - daydreaming about how I could someday truly create value to society - to working my butt off 6-7 days a week as a self-employed freelancer delivering creative, mentally challenging deliverables to a myriad of individuals and organisations. And I can honestly say I would never consider going back to the old employee mentality no matter how seemingly good the money. Life’s just too short to waste human capital.
Of course there’s no magic formula. The more stories of success we share, the faster we can all achieve optimal work-life health. Have you had a personal experience checking-in with your own work-life health? How have you gone with addressing pain points in your daily grind?

Thank you to Ren Butler the Community Manager at BlueChilli Group for sharing this article - this article was first published on Linkedin here . You can chat to Ren @CognitoItineris

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