Check your pulse.
At work, is your heart really in it? Are you doing what you do, just because it’s a job and the pay is decent? Or are you doing it because it’s something you really believe in and find great satisfaction from?
It’s boring and tedious when you’re committed to things your heart really isn’t in. You’re not as focused on the goal because, frankly, it just isn’t that important to you. Performance will be mediocre when people spend more time looking at the clock or thinking about things they’d rather be doing. Working toward something that isn’t important to you can be very stressful; working toward something you really care about is called passion.
When your heart needs a defibrillator
Whether you are the team leader or a member of the team, your team will perform better if your heart is in the game. If you are reading this and find your heart in need of a jolt, here are a few things to consider:
- Focus on meaning – try refocusing on why the work should matter more to you. Consider the big picture, and try to look beyond the paycheck. You’re fortunate if you’re working in the credit-union space. Not everything we do in credit union land really matters, but there is a lot that does really matter. We do meaningful work when our organizations teach people how to better manage their finances; we help working-class families get an affordable vehicle or purchase a home; we help small business grow and create new jobs; and we engage in our communities, making them a better place. Regardless of your role in the organization, you can be part of this, and perhaps you may find some personal meaning.
- Mentor someone – For some, few things are more rewarding than helping others develop and grow. If you’re in a position to, offer your help and encouragement to others. Share your skills, knowledge, and expertise. Demonstrate a positive attitude and act as a positive role model. This level of service may be just enough to help you regain a meaningful pulse.
- Refocus on your own development – Whatever your position, focus on becoming the very best that you can be. Take extra pride in your work and set new goals for yourself, goals that will help you grow. Change and development isn’t easy, but there is a great amount of joy and satisfaction to be had from making the effort. Who knows, perhaps your efforts here will motivate someone else to care a little more and become more engaged.
- Make a change – If you’ve really tried, but find that your heart isn’t in whatever it is that you’re doing, I challenge you to move on to something that provides more meaning for you. Personally, I don’t believe we ever become our very best or make the greatest contribution when our heart isn’t really in it. Making a career change can be difficult and very stressful. I’ve been through this transition. For me, the stress of making the change turned out to be less stressful than remaining in the situation would have been.
Why it matters
Most of us spend a significant portion of our lives working. Having our heart in what we do will motivate us to stretch and reach for more. It will add meaning and joy to our lives. It will make our organizations stronger, and inspire others to be the best that they can be. We will make our greatest contributions.
Someone who is all-knowing has said that where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. I couldn’t agree more.