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Let’s talk LOVE at work: 9 Views

Let’s talk LOVE at work: 9 Views

Oh yeah, you knew this was coming from me at some point, didn’t you. This is the 21st Thursday column “the aloha lady” has written for Leon (thank you for loving me Leon!) and it’s February, just two days after Valentine’s Day, so I’m taking my shot.

Now don’t roll your eyes. Be brave, be open-minded, and keep reading, for you have to admit you’d love your job a whole lot more if there was a whole lot more to love about it. I’m hoping I can help you get there by helping you LOVE you at work.

Let’s do this: Empathy is a skill we all need in life, empathy being the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. When you empathize with someone, you can feel some of the things they feel without being in their same circumstances. An exercise in empathy is a good way for us to look at this question of where LOVE is needed in business, and at work, so we start to reap some of the joy in it. You’ve got to agree that love is joyful!

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Through the eyes of a Visionary Leader:
We LOVE being at work when we feel our work is meaningful and worthwhile. It is meaningful and worthwhile when we have bought in to the purpose behind our Leader’s vision— if not, you need to choose a new leader. What is it that the Leaders in your work-life love so much about their vision? What notion do they LOVE and incessantly talk about so passionately? They believe that is why you have chosen to work with them.

Through the eyes of a Great Manager:
A Great Manager is looking for your talent and your strength, for he wants to optimize it and capitalize it— he’s bought in to that purpose behind the Leader’s vision too (and yes, sometimes he can have both roles) and he knows he needs you to help make it happen. You are the one who LOVES your own talents, the ones that make your heart sing. Have you come right out and told your manager what they are so he can LOVE them too? Have you showed him how you want to use them at work everyday, or are you still playing hide and seek with him? Great Managers are defined by their good intention, not by their ability to read your mind. Don’t have a Great Manager? Life is short; choose a new one who is.

Through the eyes of Your Peers:
This one is easy. Your Peers want to LOVE working with you. So exactly how lovable are you? Your Peers will define this through their working relationships with you, and you’ll define it through the kinds of relationships you LOVE having with them versus those that are hard to maintain because they are counter to what you value. Be Proactive and take control of your relationships. As Stephen Covey says, make some “emotional bank account deposits” —understand that it’s your account.

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Through the eyes of an Employee:
Let’s say you’re the manager or leader. No, already wrote about that…This is for everyone: What about the other employees at your workplace you interact with rarely to occasionally? They simply want to LOVE having you around. They want to consider you “one of the good guys” and one of their alternate resources. Are you the one they hope gets picked when there’s an interdepartmental team put together? Are you the one they talk about as the “one who knows,” the “really nice one,” or the “one that walks the talk?” When you are, it helps you LOVE being around them too; you feed off each other.

Through the eyes of a Customer:
What does the Customer LOVE about the product or service that your company provides for them? How do they perceive it actually improves the quality of their life? In my company, managers and leaders are our customers, and we work to bring nobility to their professions through the Managing with Aloha movement; we coach them to be our poster children, to be Great Managers and Visionary Leaders. When your passionate purpose for being at work is aligned with that LOVE of the Customer, that is, you believe that the work you do is critical to their getting it, you feel you LOVE your work. You’ve got to be there to deliver it to them. That’s the way the worthwhile, intentional jobs we LOVE work the best. I honestly believe it’s the only way.

Through the eyes of a Worthy Stockholder:
By now you can see a prevalent theme here is your ability to consciously choose the people you LOVE being in the company of. True, most of us are distanced from the Stockholders, however another reason we LOVE our work and our company, is when we think of our profits going to worthy Stockholders. Worthy because they’re aligned with our purpose and vision too. We feel they support us and we sense they LOVE being a Stockholder because it feels good and right: They LOVE knowing that their dividends are a result of delivering something meaningful to the Customer. They willingly reinvest in the company when we need them to.

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Through the eyes of Your Child:
If you are a parent, one of the greatest gifts you can give your child is demonstrating to them that you LOVE your job, and you LOVE the work you do. Otherwise, they will dread going to work when they grow up, and they will have a much more difficult job discovering their own talents and employing them in the best possible way. Give them the LOVE-liest picture you can of what work is all about. Talk to them about why you LOVE it, and how it gives you a life that you also LOVE. If you cannot do this truthfully, and with complete sincerity they will see right through you, for in their shorter lives they actually know you far better than you think. So if you can’t say it and mean it with the job you have now, make your number 1 priority finding the job you will LOVE.

Through the eyes of those Who Love You:
Your spouse, your siblings, your parents and friends, they want to LOVE you whole and happy. They hurt when you hurt, because they couldn’t turn off their unconditional love and acceptance of you if they tried. Work affects so much about you, physically, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually. Understand how much your LOVE-ing your work is all about you, your values, and your choices in filling your own life with the LOVE which will help you thrive and prosper.

Through Your Eyes:
Your turn. What would you write here? What do you LOVE at the right work in the right business and the right company for you? What is your passion and purpose? What can you be doing which uses all your talents and strengths, so that the fact that someone actually pays you to do it is icing on the cake? I challenge you to write it down so you come to some clarity with it. Not for me, for you. Then go get it. Ho‘o, as we say in Hawai‘i, make it happen.

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A last important point: The word is emphatically LOVE, not like. Like is not good enough. Your life is worth much more than that. Your life is worth LOVE.

My LOVE and aloha to you, Rosa

Articles referenced here:
5 Things Employees Need to Learn—From You
The 10 Beliefs of Great Managers

Rosa Say is the author of Managing with Aloha, Bringing Hawaii’s Universal Values to the Art of Business and the Talking Story blog. She is also the founder and head coach of Say Leadership Coaching, a company dedicated to bringing nobility to the working arts of management and leadership.

Rosa’s Previous Thursday Column was: Gracious, Genuine Greetings.

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How to Control Your Thoughts and Become the Master of Your Mind

How to Control Your Thoughts and Become the Master of Your Mind

Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life.

Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affect your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality.

I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive and just a general waste of energy.

You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Become the master of your mind.

When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

I currently have few thoughts that are not of my own choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in charge of your thoughts. If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create the most unhealthy and unproductive thoughts:

1. The Inner Critic

This is your constant abuser. He is often a conglomeration of:

  • Other people’s words; many times your parents.
  • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples expectations.
  • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media.
  • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

He is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance and lack of self-love.

Why else would he abuse you? And since “he” is actually you– why else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

2. The Worrier

This person lives in the future; in the world of “what ifs.”

He is motivated by fear which is often irrational and with no basis for it.

Occasionally, he is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

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3. The Reactor or Trouble-Maker

He is the one that triggers anger, frustration and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

He can be set off by words or feelings. He can even be set off by sounds and smells.

He has no real motivation; he has poor impulse control and is run by past programming that no longer serves you, if it ever did.

4. The Sleep Depriver

This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

His motivation can be:

  • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
  • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
  • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity and generalized anxiety
  • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

How can you control these squatters?

How to Master Your Mind

You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You must pay attention to your thoughts so you can identify “who” is running the show; this will determine which technique you will want to use.

Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

There are two ways to control your thoughts:

  • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
  • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

This second option is what is known as peace of mind!

The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go to” thoughts in the applicable situations.

Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

For the Inner Critic

When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

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You can also have a dialogue with yourself with the intention of discrediting the ‘voice’ that created the thought, if you know whose voice it is:

“Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready. This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

  • He riles up the Worrier.
  • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
  • He is often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
  • He is a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
  • He is the destroyer of self-esteem. He convinces you that you’re not worthy. He’s a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get him out!

Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

Replace him with your new best friend who supports, encourages, and enhances your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

For the Worrier

Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind and creates anxiety in the body.

You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

  • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
  • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
  • Muscles tense

Use the above stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

“Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense; both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

Now take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like!

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Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

For example:

If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

“I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place. Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

“Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

For the Trouble-Maker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers; but until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain:

  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure; surge of adrenaline
  • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
  • Muscles tension

I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds; just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

Breathe in through your nose:

  • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
  • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
  • Focus on your belly rising.

Breathe out through your nose:

  • Feel your lungs emptying.
  • Focus on your belly falling.
  • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize.

Now you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior.

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One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting, or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

For the Sleep Depriver

(He’s made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

  1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
  2. Then I came up with replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and I choose quiet.

From the first time I tried this method I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (Closed, of course!). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

You can also use this technique any time you want to:

  • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon.
  • Shut down your thinking.
  • Calm your feelings.
  • Simply focus on the present moment. 

Becoming the Master of Your Mind

Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or for destructive purposes.

You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. The choice is yours!

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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