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“Peace One Day” at Work

“Peace One Day” at Work
Peace One Day at Work
    Photo by JTeale from flickr

    In a recent TED talk, activist Jeremy Gilley discusses his inspiring mission of “Persuading the world to try living in peace for just one day.” Adhering to a single day of peace allows for the immunization of rural populations, aid to be distributed, freedom to travel and the transmission of information. Most importantly, it relieves a person of the stress and anxiety that comes with continuous violence and hate.

    This mission should inspire people to dedicate themselves to peace on a global, local and emotional level. Perhaps, people can take the initiative and create a Peace Day in the workplace. Peace Day gives people a reprieve from a negative work environment. This is an opportunity for people to become mindful of their relationship with co-workers.

    Charity starts in the workplace

    Workers and especially managers have to create a framework that examines and meets workers mental and emotional health needs. It is an issue just as important as the support company’s show to outside causes.

    No company or workplace wants to admit that workers are unhappy and dissatisfied, and therefore there are no rallying cries to create any meaningful change. Productivity and obedience take precedence over stress, anxiety and the well being of staff.

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    Like Jeremy, someone has to be willing to step-up and believe that things can and will improve. They need to create a movement that rises above a negative environment and dispels the ineffective complaining, disinterest, and anger that is vented when workers are unhappy. Ultimately, people need more options to deal with a bad workplace than just stress leave, quitting, or suffering through it. And, that starts with one day, where there is no criticizing, de-motivation, or excessive push for unattainable expectations.

    Setting up a peace day

    It is invigorating when someone stands up and contributes a positive solution, instead of just complaining.

    Inspire the staff and maybe even clients by taking on the global peace cause. Fundraising days can even be used to incorporate the theme in the workplace. Peace One Day is a noble mission and is a cause everyone can support. The foundation even offers event kits to help people support the cause.

    The Pledge

    Peace Day at the office should start off with a simple written pledge by everyone. People agree that they will become mindful of their attitude and emotions during the day. They will also agree to avoid confrontations, criticizing, gossip or any action that contribute towards a negative work environment. People can also pledge to spend time talking to each other on a more personal level and avoiding any shop talk or complaining.

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    Managers need to be extra mindful of their actions. They are the gatekeepers of corporate information and many times set the negative or positive tone of a workplace. They need to become conscious of the type of information they circulate.

    Allow for a day where the stream of negative information is stopped and workers do not dread meetings, memos, emails or lunch breaks.

    The benefits

    Workplace politics, pride and overall negative emotions make it impossible for people to get to know each other. Thus, people become detached at work, and put up barriers to protect themselves from criticism or emotional attachment.

    People need to feel confident that they can be themselves without the fear of retribution.

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    Moment of clarity

    People need to move out of their comfort zones and question their habits and automatic actions. Because of the pledge, people will stop in mid-stride, mid-dial and mid-sentence to challenge the tone, motivation, and delivery of their message. They ask themselves whether something is a constructive or destructive action. Will it contribute to a positive or negative environment?

    Ultimately, you want workers to develop of routine of challenging old habits and negative actions, not just for one day, but for the rest of their career.

    Mindfulness

    In the heat of battle it is hard to make rational decisions. The rush of adrenaline and heightened emotions compels someone to fire before the enemy has even been identified. Workers have to develop a moment of silence, where they move out of the situation and examine the facts.

    They need to ask “What do I expect the outcome to be, and is it worth it to proceed?” And, “Does this person deserve this?” People are cruel or unfair when they dismiss someone’s positive attributes and label them as a “soulless corporate minion” instead of an emotional and fragile human being.

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    The institution of the golden rule usually resolves any internal confusion. “Do as you would be done by,” is a good tome to live by. Also, connecting with someone on a personal level makes it harder to unjustly criticize them and forces a person to be critical of their own faults before passing judgment on a co-worker.

    People need a day that challenges their preconceived ideas about the world. Co-workers are not always plotting against them, the boss can be supportive and they do not have to be detached from their job. Instituting multiple Peace Days throughout the year can be the start of this challenge and change.

    More by this author

    Peace One Day at Work “Peace One Day” at Work How to Stop the Negative Spin of Thoughts, Emotions and Actions Focus on Art, Not on Features: Simple Online Tools for Writers Mastering a Moment of Purposeful Peace How to Create Emergency Kits for your Average Workday

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    Last Updated on July 23, 2019

    5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life

    5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life

    In the journey of growth, there are times when we grow and excel. We are endlessly driven and hyped up, motivated to get our goals.

    Then there are times when we stagnate. We feel uninspired and unmotivated. We keep procrastinating on our plans. More often than not, we get out of a rut, only to get back into another one.

    How do you know if you are stagnating? Here are some tell-tale signs:

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    • If you have been experiencing chronic procrastination on your goals
    • If you don’t ever feel like doing anything
    • If you keep turning to sleep, eating, games, mindless activities and entertainment for comfort
    • If you know you should be doing something, but yet you keep avoiding it
    • If you have not achieved anything new or significant now relative to 1 month, 2 months or 3 months ago
    • If you have a deep sense of feeling that you are living under your potential

    When we face stagnation in life, it’s a sign of deeper issues. Stagnation, just like procrastination, is a symptom of a problem. It’s easy to beat ourselves over it, but this approach is not going to help. Here, I will share 5 steps to help you move out of this stagnation. They won’t magically transform your life in 1 night (such changes are never permanent because the foundations are not built), but they will help you get the momentum going and help you get back on track.

    1. Realize You’re Not Alone

    Everyone stagnates at some point or another. You are not alone in this and more importantly, it’s normal. In fact, it’s amazing how many of my clients actually face the same predicament, even though all of them come from different walks of life, are of different ages, and have never crossed paths. Realizing you are not alone in this will make it much easier to deal with this period. By trying to “fight it”, you’re only fighting yourself. Accept this situation, acknowledge it, and tell yourself it’s okay. That way, you can then focus on the constructive steps that will really help you.

    2. Find What Inspires You

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    Stagnation comes because there isn’t anything that excites you enough to take action. If you don’t have a habit of setting goals, and instead just leave yourself to daily mundanes, it’s not surprising you are experiencing stagnation. What do you want to do if there are no limitations? If you can have whatever you want, what will it be? The answers to these questions will provide the fuel that will drive you forward.

    On the other hand, even if you are an experienced goal setter, there are times when the goals you set in the past lose their appeal now. It’s normal and it happens to me too. Sometimes we lose touch with our goals, since we are in a different emotional state compared to when we first set them. Sometimes our priorities change and we no longer want to work on those goals anymore. However, we don’t consciously realize this, and what happens is we procrastinate on our goals until it compounds into a serious problem. If that’s the case for you, it’s time to relook into your goals. There’s no point in pursuing goals that no longer inspire you. Trash away your old goals (or just put them aside) and ask yourself what you really want now. Then go for them.

    3. Give Yourself a Break

    When’s the last time you took a real break for yourself? 3 months? 6 months? 1 year? Never? Perhaps it’s time to take a time-out. Prolonged working can cause someone to become disillusioned as they lose sight of who they are and what they want.

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    Go take some extended leave from work. A few days at bare minimum; a few weeks or months will be great. Some of my ex-colleagues have quit their jobs and took months out to do some self-reflection. Of course, some of us might not have that luxury, so we can stick to a few weeks of leave. Go on a trip elsewhere and get away from your work and your life. Use this chance to get a renewed perspective of life. Think about your life purpose, what you want and what you want to create for your life in the future. These are big questions that require deep thinking over them. It’s not about finding the answers at one go, but about taking the first step to finding the answers.

    4. Shake up Your Routines

    Being in the same environment, doing the same things over and over again and meeting the same people can make us stagnant. This is especially if the people you spend the most time with are stagnant themselves.

    Change things around. Start with simple things, like taking a different route to work and eating something different for breakfast. Have your lunch with different colleagues, colleagues you never talked much with. Work in a different cubicle if your work has free and easy seating. Do something different than your usual for weekday evenings and weekends. Cultivate different habits, like exercising every day, listening to a new series of podcasts every morning to work, reading a book, etc (here’s 6 Proven Ways To Make New Habits Stick). The different contexts will give you different stimulus, which will trigger off different thoughts and actions in you.

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    When I’m in a state of stagnancy, I’ll get a sense of what’s making me stagnate. Sometimes it’s the environment I’m in, sometimes it’s the people I’ve been hanging out with, sometimes it’s my lifestyle. Most of the times it’s a combination of all these. Changing them up helps to stir myself out of the stagnant mode.

    5. Start with a Small Step

    Stagnation also comes from being frozen in fear. Maybe you do want this certain goal, but you aren’t taking action. Are you overwhelmed by the amount of work needed? Are you afraid you will make mistakes? Is the perfectionist in you taking over and paralyzing you?

    Let go of the belief that it has to be perfect. Such a belief is a bane, not a boon. It’s precisely from being open to mistakes and errors that you move forward. Break down what’s before you into very very small steps, then take those small steps, a little step at a time. I had a client who had been stagnating for a long period because he was afraid of failing. He didn’t want to make another move where he would make a mistake. However, not wanting to make a mistake has led him to do absolutely nothing for 2-3 years. On the other hand, by doing just something, you would already be making progress, whether it’s a mistake or not. Even if you make a supposed “mistake”,  you get feedback to do things differently in the next step. That’s something you would never have known if you never made a move.

    More to Help You Stay Motivated

    Here are some resources that will help you break out of your current phase:

    Featured photo credit: Anubhav Saxena via unsplash.com

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