Let’s face it, no one has the perfect life, except in the movies. Look at athletes who receive word that a loved one has died just before competing, yet they finish strong, sometimes winning the gold medal in the process. Their hearts are not hardened, what they have in common, is they know how to bring their best self to work, whatever work is for them. If the example seems too far removed from you, look at where you spend a large chunk of your time each day - at work. Take a close look at your bosses and colleagues, the ones who always seem to be in a perpetual good mood. If you get to know them really well, you will discover that they too do not have the perfect life. Sometimes they go through unimaginable hardships, yet day-after-day, they bring their best self to work, and that’s why others want to be around them.
Who doesn’t want to be around energetic, positive people? Every day you have a choice, you can choose to be pleasant or not. Or you can choose to make a difference or not. The point is that you have a choice, and remarkable people choose to bring their best self to the workplace. However, you simply cannot flip a switch to change your personality, but there are things you can do to help you have a more positive outlook on life.
First, are you satisfied with your work? Are you doing work that really matters to you? Is the position that you are holding, taking you closer or away from your career goal? Who do you want to be? And in five years, where do you see yourself? The more you know about yourself, and what you want from life, the easier it is to develop strategies to get there. If you are doing work that matters, and are working toward the things that you want in life, chances are, you will be more fulfilled and have a more positive outlook on life.
Second, it’s often been said, that you are the sum total of the five people who are closest to you. Who do you spend most of your time with? Do they influence you positively or negatively? While at work, find ways to work and collaborate with positive people, their optimistic outlook on work and life will rub off on you. If your job doesn’t offer enough flexibility for you to choose who you work with, you can still spend time with positive coworkers by scheduling lunch and coffee with them.
Third, develop a hobby. What kinds of things do you like doing outside of work? Do more of it, and go as far as scheduling time to participate in this activity. Find an online forum where people with similar interests hang out.
Fourth, feed your curiosity by becoming a lifelong learner. Visit Open Culture to find an online course that interests you. If you enjoy reading, push yourself to join a reading challenge, where you read a book a week - there are many to choose from. Would learning to meditate or taking yoga classes interest you? When was the last time you visited the museum, art gallery, zoo, or science center? There are many opportunities to learn new things.
Bringing your best self to work is not something that you strive to do for a specific period of time, it is an ongoing process that you engage in for the rest of your life. That’s the only way you will reap the full benefits of being an optimistic and positive person. Who doesn’t want to be the go-to person, the one whom everyone wants to hang out with for the right reasons?