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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.

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    Last Updated on January 2, 2020

    How to Break Out of Your Comfort Zone

    How to Break Out of Your Comfort Zone

    Over time, we all gather a set of constricting habits around us—ones that trap us in a zone of supposed comfort, well below what our potential would allow us to attain. Pretty soon, such habits slip below the level of our consciousness, but they still determine what we think that we can and cannot do—and what we cannot even bring ourselves to try. As long as you let these habits rule you, you’ll be stuck in a rut.

    Like the tiny, soft bodied creatures that build coral reefs, habits start off small and flexible, and end up by building massive barriers of rock all around your mind. Inside the reefs, the water feels quiet and friendly. Outside, you think it’s going to be rough and stormy. There may be sharks. But if you’re to develop in any direction from where you are today, you must go outside that reef of habits that marks the boundaries of your comfort zone. There’s no other way. There’s even nothing specially wrong with those habits as such. They probably worked for you in the past.

    But now, it’s time to step over them and go into the wider world of your unused potential. Your fears don’t know what’s going to be out there, so they invent monsters and scary beasts to keep you inside.

    Nobody’s born with an instruction manual for life. Despite all the helpful advice from parents, teachers and elders, each of us must make our own way in the world, doing the best we can and quite often getting things wrong.

    Messing up a few times isn’t that big a deal. But if you get scared and try to avoid all mistakes by sticking with just a few “tried and true” behaviors, you’ll miss out on most opportunities as well.

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    Lots of people who suffer from boredom at work are doing it to themselves. They’re bored and frustrated because that’s what their choices have caused them to be. They’re stuck in ruts they’ve dug for themselves while trying to avoid making mistakes and taking risks. People who never make mistakes never make anything else either.

    It’s time to pin down the habits that have become unconscious and are running your life for you, and get rid of them. Here’s how to do it:

    1. Understand the Truth about Your Habits

    They always represent past successes. You have formed habitual, automatic behaviors because you once dealt with something successfully, tried the same response next time, and found it worked again. That’s how habits grow and why they feel so useful.

    To get away from what’s causing your unhappiness and workplace blues, you must give up on many of your most fondly held (and formerly successful) habits. and try new ways of thinking and acting. There truly isn’t any alternative. Those habits are going to block you from finding new and creative ideas. No new ideas, no learning. No learning, no access to successful change.

    2. Do Something—Almost Anything—Differently and See What Happens

    Even the most successful habits eventually lose their usefulness as events change the world and fresh responses are called for. Yet we cling on to them long after their benefit has gone.

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    Past strategies are bound to fail sometime. Letting them become automatic habits that take the controls is a sure road to self-inflicted harm.

    3. Take Some Time out and Have a Detailed Look at Yourself—With No Holds Barred

    Discovering your unconscious habits can be tough. For a start, they’re unconscious, right? Then they fight back.

    Ask anyone who has ever given up smoking if habits are tough to break. You’ve got used to them—and they’re at least as addictive as nicotine or crack cocaine.

    4. Be Who You Are

    It’s easy to assume that you always have to fit in to get on in the world; that you must conform to be liked and respected by others or face exclusion. Because most people want to please, they try to become what they believe others expect, even if it means forcing themselves to be the kind of person they aren’t, deep down.

    You need to start by putting yourself first. You’re unique. We’re all unique, so saying this doesn’t suggest that you’re better than others or deserve more than they do.

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    You need to put yourself first because no one else has as much interest in your life as you do; and because if you don’t, no one else will. Putting others second means giving them their due respect, not ignoring them totally.

    Keeping up a self-image can be a burden. Hanging on to an inflated, unrealistic one is a curse. Give yourself a break.

    5. Slow Down and Let Go

    Most of us want to think of ourselves as good, kind, intelligent and caring people. Sometimes that’s true. Sometimes it isn’t.

    Reality is complex. We can’t function at all without constant input and support from other people.

    Everything we have, everything we’ve learned, came to us through someone else’s hands. At our best, we pass on this borrowed existence to others, enhanced by our contribution. At our worst, we waste and squander it.

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    So recognize that you’re a rich mixture of thoughts and feelings that come and go, some useful, some not. There’s no need to keep up a façade; no need to pretend; no need to fear of what you know to be true.

    When you face your own truth, you’ll find it’s an enormous relief. If you’re maybe not as wonderful as you’d like to be, you aren’t nearly as bad as you fear either.

    The truth really does set you free; free to work on being better and to forgive yourself for being human; free to express your gratitude to others and recognize what you owe them; free to acknowledge your feelings without letting them dominate your life. Above all, you’ll be free to understand the truth of living: that much of what happens to you is no more than chance. It can’t be avoided and is not your fault. There’s no point in beating yourself up about it.

    Final Thoughts

    What is holding you in situations and actions that no longer work for you often isn’t inertia or procrastination. It’s the power of habitual ways of seeing the world and thinking about events. Until you can let go of those old, worn-out habits, they’ll continue to hold you prisoner.

    To stay in your comfort zone through mere habit, or—worse still—to stay there because of irrational fears of what may lie outside, will condemn you to a life of frustration and regret.

    If you can accept the truth about the world and yourself, change whatever is holding you back, and get on with a fresh view on life, you’ll find that single action lets you open the door of your self-imposed prison and walk free. There’s a marvelous world out there. You’ll see, if you try it!

    More About Stepping Out of Comfort Zone

    Featured photo credit: teigan rodger via unsplash.com

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