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Tag: motivated

If you’re happy and you know it

We function at our best when we are happy and motivated. There is no need to quote any scientific research on this, because we have each experienced this first hand.

We love going to work when we are involved in a meaningful project with much acknowledgement. But we hate going to work when we are at the receiving end of office politics.

For those who have work, the work is usually boring or irritating or frustrating or stupid or anxiety-inducing or unfulfilling or exhausting and/ or many other things. For those who don’t have work – the ones who have to support their families, who just got laid off, their companies were shut down etc. – all they can think of, is how and when their next paycheck would come.

In India, for the job of a ‘messenger’ in a State police department, there were over 93,000 applicants. These included 3,700 PHDs, 50,000 graduates and 28,000 post-graduates. The requirements of the job? Having cleared grade 5 in school, and being able to ride a bicycle. The benefits? A 250 US$ salary and job security. How does this make you feel about your job, if you already have one? Gratitude is a wonderful thing.

This is not to say, that we must never have goals and never aim for a promotion or a better job. Rather, we can do all these much better, if we are happy and motivated with what we are already doing. This approach will make us maximally efficient, freeing up mental and physical resources to work on our ambitions.

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I’m tired of this

Scene 1: You are driving home from work. Tired. Really Really Tired. Your boss calls you. “Hey, that client presentation I asked you to finish. It’s too long. Do it again, pronto.” You reach home, and shout at the kids, scowl at the wife, eat dinner in silence and go to bed grumbling.

Scene 2: You are driving home from work. Tired. Really Really Tired. Your boss calls you. “Hey, you did really good this year, I’m considering you for a fast track promotion” You reach home, you hug the kids and the wife, take them out to a nice dinner and come back home and watch a movie.

Notice how the tiredness (something physical) vanished completely, as soon as there was something good to look forward to (something emotional)?

We think we are incapable of many things. But the reality is that we are capable of anything. More often than not though, we are not incentivised enough for going the extra mile. This prevents us from giving our best and limits our potential.

We can stay motivated and incentivized forever though, if instead of waiting for praise (that rarely comes) from others, we give ourselves a few pats on our backs. It is self-fulfilling in nature – because being happy with ourselves, will make others happy with us. And the cycle will propagate.

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