This week I have been very fortunate to meet up with colleagues, who are also friends, and talk about what we are doing workwise. There were times during the evening that we each became so excited with what we had learned and were doing with that learning that we were in danger of popping. This happened the last time we met too, and will happen the next time because we are passionate about our work and our natures allow us to share.
On this occasion we were sharing our thoughts on wellbeing and how fundamentally important it is to us individually and collectively to find a way to ensuring who we are at our core, is also allowed to flourish in our working roles. On of my colleagues made a distinction between her ‘job’ and ‘work’ and explained how over the years she has been able to bring the two closer together and by doing so was basically much happier. Another recalled her frustration at trying to bring her work on human rights into toxic workplaces and how this also affected her sense of happiness. I can remember being told and telling my daughter in turn, with regards work, follow your passions, it will pay off in the end. The ‘paying off’ has to be viewed both in eudaimonic and hedonistic terms as both will influence our motivations to work due to the reward of each driver. In simple terms if you are eudaimonicaly driven then your ‘core’ or ‘true self’ wants to find purpose and do good things through work, if you are hedonistically driven then you are more likely to be inspired by the status the work brings or monetary reward. The point of the matter being we all need to feel as though our rewards are aligned with who we are at our best self.
When we feel we are gaining traction towards being our ‘best selves’ we feel happy at work, when the reverse happens we can experience what is known as ‘allostatic load’, in this space our brains become loaded with the affects of cognitive and emotional dissonance and we feel stressed.
We need to recognise when this is happening, and act. Think about your work right now, how do you feel? Are you inspired? Yes? Great use that energy to engage with what you are doing and share that with others. No? then explore how to reduce the load on your brain, and start with small steps by feeling who you are at your best self, your energy will return. You just have to…. as the song says ‘take a load off’, be kind to your brain.
If you would like to learn how to be kind to your brain get in touch, perhaps we can all come together and have a ‘Be kind to your brain day’…..now that really is worth talking about…….