TRYING TO CHANGE YOUR SITUATION SOMETIMES FEELS LIKE PULLING OUT YOUR HAIR
Don’t suffer alone with your situation - instead, take advantage of the help that exists. There are so many ways to ease your problems - including right in front of your nose.
DO NOT ATTEMPT TO CHANGE YOURSELF
The latest trending advice will tell you that “working life is changing - so you have to change”. Let me be clear - I don’t think anyone needs to change. By far the better alternative to become more of what we really are. Any change programme that blames you for your faults is not worth your time.
Instead, what can and should be changed are our working methods. Yesterday's habits worked for yesterday's world. Nowadays, those same ways lead to serious problems such as:
Motivational problems - according to research in many countries, as many as 40–70 percent of people are dissatisfied with their work. We are becoming more and more separated from the meaning or purpose of what we do and don’t want to continue but see no real way out of the situation.
Uncontrolled use of time - too much in the way of tasks, information and pressure for results leads us to ever-increasing activity. Work becomes fragmented and we’re unable to focus and to complete our goals. Conflict begins to emerge between work and family.
Coping problems - exhaustion is no longer an exclusive symptom for those coming to the end of their careers. Even with 30-40 year olds there are an alarming number of people with burnout and exhaustion. And this, remember, is the age group at which work ability should be at its peak!
THE CAUSE LIES NOT IN YOU
It is clear that this current condition is unsustainable. Unsustainable for the individual, for an organisation, or for the national economy.
Many draw the false conclusion that the cause lies in themselves - that they are weak, inefficient, or have any number of failings. According to my findings, the problem has three major causes:
- Neglecting your own needs - I hear much talk about selfish younger generations with a “I want it all and I want it now” attitude, however a much more common problem is the trend of sacrificing and prioritising the needs of others (whether for the team, organisation, network or customers).
- Change causes deep fears to rise up - When confronted with big changes our subconscious fears are activated and insidiously undermine our strength. The most common reasons for continuing with unsustainable work are fear of losing basic security, the fear of being rejected, the fear of inadequacy, and the fear of losing control.
Increasing demands - In the past, we operated in clear organisational structures where work tasks came from above and supervisors filtered the load. Today, we act with increasing independence and in a networked manner, where tasks and demands come from every direction: top, side, bottom - as well as from within.
WHAT YOU CAN RECEIVE
I firmly believe we all have a lot of untapped potential that can be harnessed by doing things a little differently. I get the most recognition and praise for my ability to spot clues as to where to find people’s hidden capacity.
I try to be as unobtrusive as possible and I am critical of complex and overbearing consultative approaches. After all, the answers are often simple - though not always easy to implement.
As a participant in my coaching, you will build a new and more sustainable foundation, which will revive your true self.
Desire to Serve Others - One of the basic questions of my coaching is to understand what you really want to do, to be and to achieve. At first this appears a selfish question, but quickly it encompasses a much deeper need: to be involved in promoting the common good. When searching for activities that bring greater purpose and significance, you naturally consider not only what you want for yourself but also how your choices can affect your loved ones, for the organisation you work for, and all of humanity.
Managing Your Own Situation - Managing your time is, after all, like a side plot that almost takes care of itself when you start taking the reins of your life in your own hands. You will find peace through concentration and focusing on completing only what is essential. The key is making choices that bring clarity and enthusiasm to the actions you take.
Performance and Well-being - Everyone wants to achieve the best possible results in their work. It is also possible, at the same time, to still flourish as a human being. I refer to this as performance fitness, i.e. the ability to achieve great results for a sustained length of time whilst at the same time maintain good well-being. You can build your performance fitness as much as your physical fitness, provided you find a coaching programme that’s suitable for your needs.
WHAT DO YOU NEED
Of course, such significant changes do not happen by themselves. The main barrier is the gap between knowing and doing. It’s not enough to know how to act if you still continue your old habits. One of our greatest delusions is to think that doing the same things as before can lead to different results.
For a real change in the way you think and act, you need:
- Fresh thoughts - You need to be aware of and question your established perceptions and beliefs regarding things like work, efficiency, and time management. You also need critical understanding about how the human mind operates and how people accomplish actions.
- Relief methods - It is almost impossible to make changes whilst you are overloaded. To alleviate your situation, you need ways to identify what’s really essential, find creative solutions to problems, and manage your own time and energy more economically.
- Clear operating models - There are always different patterns behind our actions and repetitive behaviours. We blindly stay faithful to our old ways. Unfortunately, some of these ways are no longer appropriate. For example, we greatly need updated versions of how to plan and evaluate day-to-day activities, prioritise and select tasks, and ways to reward ourselves.
YOU ARE THE GUIDE
Perhaps you are skeptically wondering what an old greying dinosaur like myself can possibly offer a younger person? You’re probably rolling your eyes at the thought of hearing, “listen-to-how-we-used-to-handle-
- I do not give advice or instruct you to do one thing or the other
- I don't offer any secret recipes for a good life
- I don't tell you what to do or what not to do to balance different areas of your life
- I do not imagine that I understand anything about what your work involves.
Instead, what I provide to you are the tools and means to make your own choices and produce your own meaning and purpose. What I can provide has been discovered from demanding situations, because I have worked alone for over 30 years as a coach and an entrepreneur. I have experienced for myself precisely the same problems that are now common and widespread trends in work.
Fortunately, I have been blessed with curiosity and a passion for learning. Combined with my training as a physicist, I have a burning desire to understand the phenomena that run deep below the surface and to seek the most effective solutions to problems. I've found so much success with the same tools and methods in my own life that I want to share them with those who are in need.
Ten years ago, I was asked to give a presentation at a major seminar on Nordic pension systems. I started the presentation by drawing a timeline on the flip chart with three numbers: 26 - 56 - 86. At the age of 26 I came to Finland, I was 56 at that time and my goal was to still be fully involved in working life at the age of 86 (provided my mind and body allowed it). I felt like I was only halfway through my career.
So, you see I am still on my journey, and the desire and enthusiasm seems only to be increasing every day. All I wish for you is to discover a similar passion and desire. Welcome to the journey!
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