Over 60% of people are not engaged at their work, that’s according to a gallop study done in 2015 tracking employee satisfaction across America.
The question is, why?
I studied for 4 years to get a degree in Accounting & Finance. It was a path I began to question after starting my first job.
I love living a healthy active lifestyle; I workout regularly, eat healthy food, play soccer, practice yoga – yet i chose a direction that did not align with these passions.
It is now clear looking back I was motivated by money and security.
I chose my career from a place of fear, not love.
How many others do the same?
What I failed to realize, like many others: money should be a byproduct of doing what you love and not the primary motivator.
This for me, is why people are not engaged at their workplace. They don’t love what they do.
Upon completing my degree, I was fortunate enough to get a graduate tax role at one of the world’s biggest financial services firms here in Australia.
During my first few months my days consisted of: scanning, filing, tax returns, data entry, and more scanning.
This is where my questioning began… What path am I on? What is the end goal?
Luckily, as my time at the firm progressed my tasks got better – however, I still lacked purpose, fulfilment, and motivation at my job. I wondered if many others felt like this… how many people spend their lives going through the day unmotivated, disengaged, and unfulfilled?
After doing some research, I realised purpose, passion, fulfilment, and motivation are emotional states that must be cultivated from within.
The problem is, people don’t take the time to properly evaluate what they want out of life. They expect to experience these high emotional states without knowing what it is that will get them there.
The result: they stumble through life with no real direction or purpose.
Do you ask these sort of question as well?
Do you question your direction in life?
Or maybe your starting to now… the point is, you shouldn’t settle for anything less than a motivated, passionate, fulfilled life.
Life is short, it should be experienced through these high states.
So, how do you avoid workplace dissatisfaction?
I believe there are 2 potential solutions to this questions. I’m going to show you how one of them changed the trajectory of my life, without changing my job.
As I mentioned earlier, my days were dull to say the least.
They consisted of silent train rides packed full of miserable office workers, tax returns, and lots of caffeine.
After the first few months of starting my new job, I soon realised:
- Business clothes get annoying to wear everyday
- I would be a slave to the clock
- I would lose time to do the things I love
- Money doesn’t buy happiness
This is when I realised I had 2 choices.
They are the same 2 choices you have if you find that your work is eating away at your soul:
- Quit my job and search for happiness and fulfilment elsewhere
- Accept my current situation and find happiness and fulfilment here and now
I chose option 2.
You get to make your own decision – neither is right or wrong, but whatever you decide, you mustn’t look back!
Different life situations will determine the answer, in my case I was unclear about what I wanted in life at that time, so I had no choice but to accept my current situation.
The first thing to do was change my perspective, and this is what resulted:
I got comfier clothes
“Clothing is the first step to building a character.”
This sounds insignificant, but believe me it makes a difference.
Life is too short to wear uncomfortable clothing, especially all day at work.
A good fitting Egyptian cotton business shirt was like having a soft cloud over my skin with minimal sweat and irritation. This was a small but substantial step in helping me realise happiness in the now.
Some nice shirts can be found here
I mastered time management
“Time and health are two precious assets that we don’t recognise and appreciate until they have been depleted.”
Never be a slave to the clock.
Value your time.
By mastering my mornings, I mastered my time.
I woke up earlier to make time for things I knew were going to contribute to me feeling purposeful in my day.
I made time to do the things I love
“Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.”
I had to work around my office hours.
I knew I would be at work for 8 hours with a 1 hour lunch break. I love exercise, so I joined the gym below my building and started going on my lunch break.
This freed time after work to do the things I loved: play soccer, practice yoga, and spend time with loved ones.
This had a dramatic impact on the quality of my week.
Happiness bought me money
“Happiness resides not in possessions, and not in gold, happiness dwells in the soul.”
After making these fundamental changes, opportunities began to appear, money appeared in places I did not expect.
I was offered a weekly payment to play soccer semi-professionally, extra income outside of work was the perfect way to supplement the minimum graduate pay I was getting.
I was now earning more money and doing more of the things I loved, who would have thought.
Upgrade the body
“The human body is the best picture of the human soul.”
To achieve my new life plan, I needed my body to be fit, healthy, and energised.
If you want to improve performance in life, start by upgrading the body.
A body that is cared for has a greater opportunity to advance spiritually in life – spiritual advancement means finding greater access to fulfilment, love, purpose, and passion.
I adopted high-performance habits, rituals, and routines that I emulated from some of the most successful people on the planet .
I was averaging 3 podcasts a day, so in 6 months I had devoured approximately 548 podcasts.
Amazing things can be done with a bit of multi-tasking while you work.
Throughout this podcast binge I was actioning each new habit, every productivity tip, tweaking my diet, optimising my workouts, all based on the recommendations from the most successful people in their respective fields.
The results were extraordinary.
Yes, there is an abundance of information out there on how to boost energy, increase performance, and get better results.
It’s best to keep things simple – understand and apply the 3 fundamentals and I guarantee you will perform better and live longer:
Master these 3, and you will set yourself up for success.
When you optimise sleep, diet, and exercise the impact on your energy and vitality is astonishing.
My body entered high performance mode. Now time for the mind…
Upgrade the mind
“You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”
Not only did I need to upgrade my body, my mindset needed to shift.
When you make the decision to find happiness and fulfilment here and now, the mind looks for things to validate this decision.
I supported this through expressing gratitude and appreciation daily for all the wonderful things I have in my life.
This is such a simple exercise that produces profound shift in perspective.
Meditation became a daily habit.
I can’t express enough how important meditation has been for me in training my mind to become less reactive to external events.
A Yale University study found meditation decreased the activity in the part of the brain associated with mental wandering and self-referential thoughts – a.k.a “the monkey mind”.
Shutting off the monkey mind is a considerable step forward when looking to improve the overall quality of your life. Believe me, don’t discount the power meditation has on improving your performance, and happiness.
I made time to read and listen to books daily.
You can’t expect to grow without exposing the mind to new ideas, new information, and fresh perspectives.
Read veraciously and apply what you learn, take action – knowledge is only potential power.
I turned my train rides into self-education – I listened to audio books whenever I was on the move.
You will be amazed how much travel time can be put to good use through audio books.
Find your passion
“If you feel like there’s something out there that you’re supposed to be doing, if you have a passion for it, then stop wishing and just do it.” —Wanda Sykes
After upgrading my mind and body, I began to gain access to deeper connection with myself. I call this the spiritual dimension.
The spiritual dimension is where consciousness, spirit, higher-self, God (or whatever spiritual/religious terminology you prefer) operate from.
The spirit is the internal guidance system that is within everyone, it cannot be comprehended by the mind but it can be felt in the body. It’s sometimes referred to as a gut feeling, intuition, or instinct – passion is found from here.
If this sounds like airy-fairy land to you, chances are you haven’t accessed it yet. It’s possible that you have lived for so long listening to what other people want you to do you have been cut off from this feeling of guidance.
Scott Peck author of the influential book “The Road Less Travelled” describes the road of spiritual growth as the ability to develop a wider vision, and an expansion of knowledge through challenging the validity of what we have previously been taught and hold dear.
It is important to pay attention to the things you feel passionate about.
Personally, I was able to connect to my passions in exercise, health, and nutrition and this fuelled me throughout my time at my corporate desk job.
Passion comes from a connection to the creative intelligence inside (the guidance system).
To often people are stuck in a serious approach to life.
Regardless of what work you do, you can always connect to the passion within.
It requires first listening – not to the mind but to the heart – and then acting on these feelings, curiosities, and intuitions.
If you’re having trouble finding these feelings, I have put together a list of questions designed to help you uncover your passion/s. Click here to get your copy
The world needs you to find your passions and follow them.
This brings you into alignment with your highest self – it is where you can access the abundance of creativity, energy, and motivation that will inspire you to leave a meaningful impact on the world.
Never Stop Growing
The problem today is, we expect kids at the age of 17 to pick a career path without giving them any education on how to connect with their own personal calling/passion.
When I look back on my decisions after high school and the motives behind my chosen career path it was clear I was motivated by money and security, not passion and curiosity.
So how do you align passion with career?
You must choose your job/employer wisely… Don’t sell your soul for money, don’t let your mind make the decision, follow your heart!
If the idea of working for someone else doesn’t excite you, become an entrepreneur!
- Figure out your strongest skills
- Mix it with your passions
- Solve a problem
There are enough resources, technology and opportunity in today’s world for anyone to successfully start their own business, you just have to be willing to put in the work.
Life is a never ending journey of self-discovery, self-mastery and self-fulfilment.
No matter what you choose to do in life, commit yourself to personal growth.
If you don’t know what your passions are now, follow what interests/excites you, just be sure to stay committed to personal growth along the way. In time, your unique life path will begin to take shape as your passions & purpose become clear.
For me, my experience working in the corporate world was a necessary step in my journey of self-discovery, it has helped me uncover my own unique path as I continue to practice self-mastery.
Although I have not yet achieved the goals I have set – the mere fact of knowing I am on the path to reaching them is enough to keep me motivated, fulfilled, and content with whatever direction my life takes me.
I hope my journey so far can help others uncover their own uniqueness and follow whatever it is their heart is calling them to do.
Never stop growing!