June, 2017 Introduction and Instructions for the 30-Day Workplace Challenge
Every day there are more U.S. employees who are unhappy with their jobs. Unhappiness gives rise to high rates of disengagement. Roughly 17% of U.S. employees are emotionally engaged in what they do at work, and naturally this low engagement rate affects how businesses operate. But what’s more important than how businesses are impacted by employees’ growing lack of enthusiasm to maintain the bottom line is emotional disengagement’s reach. Outside the workplace, in communities, in families and intimate relationships, emotionally disengaged employees may feel frustration by their inability to go from feeling miserable all day to the other end of the emotional scale, after work, in order to engage in quality family and community relationships.
Close to 75% of the U.S. workforce has been unhappy, inattentive, and emotionally disconnected for roughly 8 hours. Come quitting time, that emotional momentum is going pretty strong. Some workers may leave the job and stop to have a drink to get themselves together; some go to the gym to workout. Some simply try to get to the other end of the emotional scale during the commute. Some will take some time when they arrive home to “chill-out,” as some people in my family describe it.
What the 30-Day Workplace Challenge does is assist unhappy employees in tuning into the power and the art of emotional guidance. This emotional-self-guidance starts upon awakening because it is much easier to guide the emotions after a good night’s sleep, rather than wrestling with them after 8 hours of emotional discord and disengagement. Also, it assists disenchanted employees in gradually withdrawing the “blame” for job unhappiness on external conditions as they quickly become aware of the relationship between their thoughts and feelings, and what they are experiencing in the workplace.
But keep in mind, that the bottom line, here, is not profit; it’s something much larger.
Global workplace engagement is roughly 13%. We have arrived at the end of the “belief” in the bottom line or profit at any cost, and the myth of earning a living to support it. Simply put, a shift in consciousness is at hand. Each and every one of us brings talent and gifts to this planet but feel unable to share this talent because of the belief in “earning.” The 30-Day Workplace Challenge does not purport to shift the global workplace. It simply assists employees in stabilizing their emotions and mastering the power of the imagination, the basic component parts in shifting consciousness, the sole precursor to a shift in conditions.
There is a growing awareness that our physical experiences are a perfect match to our thoughts and our emotional responses to those thoughts. Here is an example. If we are focused on thoughts about money and paying the bills, our bodies will communicate how those thoughts feel. We may experience an upset stomach or some tension in your lower back. Personally, I get a little scattered-brained when I am having financial concerns.
Here is another example. We are on vacation, lying on the beach, watching the sunset. We are focused on the colors of the sky as the sun descends. We may feel a cool breeze coming off the ocean. We feel calm, relaxed and at peace, if only for ten or fifteen minutes. Calm, relaxed and peaceful is the communication that we receive from our body. The body is assisting us in evaluating the nature of our thoughts, and in the case of lying on the beach, what we are observing. Let’s face it. Being out on the ocean or in a park, in relationship with nature, has a huge impact on how we feel.
Now if this information about the relationship between your feelings, thoughts and experience is new to you, you may want to spend some time simply becoming aware of what you are thinking and feeling. You may find it easier to focus first on how you are feeling, allowing the body to call your attention to the nature of your thoughts. This is a matter of practice, four or five days maximum. You will know the difference between the body saying “I don’t feel so well,” and, “I’m feeling great!”
You see, no matter what thought you are thinking, no matter what you are observing or reflecting on, such as a past event, or a future event, you will receive an emotional response from your body.
When you have become aware of, and sufficiently comfortably with, receiving signals from your body about your thoughts, then you are ready to observe the relationship between your thoughts and emotions and what you are experiencing each and every day. This is the easy and fun part, and one that offers you the confidence you may need to shift your experience.
Your everyday experience is an accurate indicator of your thoughts and feelings! This is where the idea that “we are the creators of our experience,” comes from. You see enough of us have observed the relationship between what is going on within and what we experience in our everyday lives (as within, so without) that we are wise enough, evolved enough, to take advantage of this information and begin to change our experience.
Now I do not want to oversimply inner transformation which is something that human beings all over the planet are engaged in these days. I can personally tell you, there’s a heck of a lot more to it than I have space here to write about it. But just as “you” attracted this information into your experience, you will attract any other information that you require to assist you in creating an improved experience, in and out of the workplace.
So if you are experiencing a rough day at the office, and most U.S. employees are, be aware of that feeling and know that your body has and continues to bring the thoughts and beliefs that are creating it to your awareness. Just a few minutes each morning, if mornings are conducive to your schedule, you will become aware of the shift in how you feel, when you intentionally focus on a good feeling thought! The body is going to give you totally different feedback on your new way of thought!
All this challenge asks of you is that you set aside this old belief that what you truly feel called to do is impossible, for only 10-15 minutes each day, while you discover the power of your thoughts, emotions and imagination, and ultimately that it is only your thoughts and emotions that create the conditions of your experience. You will discover that this challenge will not stunt your growth or the growth of your pets; setting aside 10-15 minutes each day will not collapse the galaxy, nor prevent the sun from rising. You can still pay your bills when they become due, and you don’t have to be concerned about the opinions of your family members or co-workers because the exercise does not involve them directly.
So every day for the next 30 days, you are going to set aside 10-15 minutes to imagine what your life would look and feel like if you were living your passion. You will become aware of how you are feeling as you are imagining. If you are someone who is not accustomed to meditation or structured quiet time, you may want to begin with 5 minutes, adding a minute each day. If adding a minute each day is too much for you, then add 2 minutes each week. This is a 7 days a week, 30 day challenge. But I am confident that you are going to enjoy your improved state so much, that you will allow the exercise to expand and shift your good feeling experience, in and out of the workplace.
What if you cannot imagine anything? It’s okay. Don’t force yourself to think of something. Instead try this. As you are going about the usual business of the day, take note of the things that make you feel good. For example, maybe you feel good when you are cooking a meal, or maybe you feel even better when you sit down to eat that meal. Maybe you pass a department store and you are attracted to the window display. Maybe it’s the colors that capture your attention, or the arrangement of the items. What’s important is that you become familiar with feeling good, and that you recall that good feeling in your 10-15 minute focus session. What you may discover is that there is a recurring theme in all the experiences. This is just one way of discovering your passion.
Try not to become overwhelmed with the details of how this passion can be lived, and if you do, then stop. Try again the next day. Remember this is a feel good exercise in imagining. This is not about stressing, worrying or tizzying all over the place.
You can do the challenge at work or you can do the challenge at home. You can do it while you are on the bus or train to or from work. Driving? Don’t even try it! You can do it in the shower. It’s your choice. But it may be helpful, however, to establish a regular morning time for your imagination session. Shortly after awakening would be the best time. Hey! Set the alarm 20 minutes earlier than you would normally. Do what you have to do. You would be amazed at the impact that a 10-15 early morning session has on your day. Naturally, if you work at night or in the evening, you will have to make some adjustments. But ideally, morning time is very effective.
Another helpful Tip! If you are experiencing problems with focus, try writing a script for about 10-15 minutes. This is called focused writing or scripting. Here is an example of scripting that you may find useful.
I am having a wonderful day. I am enjoying creating these floral arrangements for a big wedding. I am appreciating having a conversation with the woman at the nursery as I am ordering all the flowers that I will use for the arrangements. I appreciate having her assistance in this big project. I am receiving many orders for floral arrangements. I love the smell of the flowers on my hands. I am enjoying the positive feedback I am receiving from people who appreciate my arrangements.
Note the use of the present tense “I am,” in scripting. Using the present tense is very important because you are signaling that you are enjoying your passion in the present moment, that you are not separated from it by time. This detail is very important in assisting you in releasing the belief that following your bliss is not possible.
Also, please feel free to read your script aloud. It is not unusual to change or expand on the script. There is also no problem if you want to change the whole script and re-script or re-imagine another experience. There’s no evidence to suggest that there is only one passion per person.
Remember, all this requires is 15 minutes or so to get started. 5 minutes if you are new to the process. If you want to expand your sessions to 20 minutes, then by all means do so.
Each and every one of us has a passion that, if expressed, brings well-being and harmony, not only to our lives, but to the lives of all those who we are in relationship with, co-workers, family, friends, and our communities. The only permission required to do this is the permission that you must give yourself.
If you have any questions, comments or concerns just drop me a post. I welcome feedback on any and all of your experiences with the 30-Day Workplace Challenge.
~In joy. Akilah firstname.lastname@example.org