How to remain enthusiastic at work Part - 1

Are you bogged down by the pressures at work? Do you feel unenthusiastic about your career and what you do at work? Here is a solution that lets you find yourself. Discover simple ways that help you rejuvenate and let you realise your potentials.

Staying excited and motivated at work probably isn't easy, especially when you have other interests. Work becomes a burden and it can slowly make you lose your self-worth. You'll perhaps dismiss me when I say that it is not impossible to remain enthusiastic about a job that isn't half as interesting as the other things that you like to do. You can work your way around it and enjoy work and life outside of it.

I have learned a lot from my experiences and from watching others around me. And these have been wise lessons. Let me explain –

When my daughter was young my husband and I surrounded her with 'many of different things'. By 'many of different things' I mean many toys and many books and many activities and colouring books and other things that toddlers and young children like. My little one would show interest in one item for a little while and then begin playing with something else. My father-in-law in all his wisdom once commented that the child was easily distracted and lacked concentration. I, as a mother, was of course highly offended by his preposterous claim and promptly corrected him.

In my toddler's defence I remember telling my father-in-law that she was a smart kid and contrary to his view of her, she was a keen observer, enthusiastic about things in her environment and that she liked experiencing new things and acquiring new knowledge. My outburst back then possibly had something to do with the fact that it was my child who was being spoken about. But, as it turned out my observation of my child had been spot-on.

Right from her toddler days, or maybe even before that my kiddo learned things swiftly, in quick succession. And this trend continued as she grew older. When I reflect on her growing years I cannot help but be amazed at how well she coped with different interests in her life, all at once and excelled in whatever she set out to do. She carried this unique love for doing different things with much finesse, compartmentalizing her time, attitude and space to fit in every little aspect of the things that she wanted to do.

She grew up pursuing a wide range of interests from reading to painting to writing and participating in sports - playing basketball, swimming, sailing and scuba diving, dancing and playing the guitar… while superbly balancing her academic life alongside all of this. She was always doing something new, her passion for learning and doing new things created an ever-evolving basket of pursuits, which called upon her time and energies, yet she never ever seemed to have a problem with any of it.

Things changed a tad when she started her first job. As a grad, starting work in the field of finance, it wasn't easy. There were new things to learn – a whole new subject and a whole new work culture, in a foreign place, away from home. It couldn't have been easy, I know employment changes a lot of things in your life. A job requires full attention and bosses cannot be bothered about the other hundreds of things that you might be interested in pursuing.

I didn't want the free spirit my child had grown up with to be washed away in the milieu of a very competitive and demanding atmosphere. I wanted her to succeed, on her own terms and not be dictated by the new world that she was now a part of.

A heart-to-heart conversation

During a conversation with her, I reminded her of her younger days and at how successfully she juggled her time. My advice to her was to find her own path like she had always done. I told her to not let anything stifle who she is or what she aspired to be. I advised her to recognize her potentials and realize that she was unique. The key here is the use of the word potential in the plural. She had an array of interests that shouldn't be shelved. Her job was not her true calling – whatever she had made of herself, whatever she was, all her talents and hobbies were all as much a part of her. As a child, she switched roles with such ease and she should continue to do so as an adult. Divide her life and mark a distinct line between work life and her own life.

She wasn't meant to be just a working professional that would have suffocated her. Instead of focusing just on the climb, up the corporate ladder, I reminded her of the things that she likes to do – things that define her. Being employed in no way meant wiping away the past years. She had to work at her job while following the rest of her pursuits, just the way she did as a child.

That little talk was enough motivation for my daughter to find her calling. I was confident that she wouldn't be another dejected young thing caught in the rat race. She realized that she had a life outside the workspace. She looked at her interests as her forte rather than something that needed to be repressed.

Being your own person

Some might argue that this strategy does not or cannot work, not unless you begin your own startup company or shift jobs to more accommodating ones. While this might be true for them, I personally do not agree. I think there are always means to bring about a change. It takes some planning if you are not used to realizing your true potentials, but it is always possible to adapt them into your day to day life, to remain happy and content and avoid a meltdown.

Nurture your interests, hobbies and leisure pursuits

Your boss and all the superiors at work will have you believe that your job takes priority over everything else that defines you. It is in their interest that you think only about the job that pays you. It's easy to fall into that trap – almost everyone does. You might be made to believe that from now on all your interests need be tuned with the work that you do. However, it's crucial to keep in mind that work, is just one part of your existence and it must remain so.

Often ambitions and career dreams make us forgo our other passions that can at times lead to a drain out. Make time and space for your hobbies and passions, explore new avenues that let you be you, instead of being cast in a mould of robotic workers. This is easily the best step towards keeping boredom at bay in the workplace.

Many of us are guilty of proving ourselves to the top management and in a bid to do so, remain at our desk hours after the office is shut down. This is nothing but a sham. You will be judged for the output and results that you produce, not for the hours you spend at your desk.

Finish work assigned to you and make sure it is to everyone's expectation. That being done leave the office at a reasonable hour, so you can manage to do something that you like doing before the day ends.

Instead of heading home to get into your comfortable house clothes head out to the tennis court or to the swimming pool. You could even go for a workshop on painting or music classes. You get what I mean. Follow your heart and spend time doing what you want.

Doing so will infuse a newfound energy into you. You will feel calm, happy and relaxed. You could even go home to a book or a night out with friends or cook yourself a lavish meal. Just get away from the office desk and spend time with yourself, doing what you like doing.

In my daughter's case, it was a game of basketball that helped her to unwind. She also kept in touch with the rest of her hobbies like painting, swimming, reading, playing the guitar and writing. She took time to learn new things – for instance, to play football. This helped her remain physically fit, mentally alert and emotionally secure. Her time with herself inspired her time at work at the office.

If you notice, the strategy revolves around you and yet it puts no pressure on you. It allows you to explore and enjoy activities that interest you, without the stress and anxiety of whether it'll transform into something productive down the road. The simple trick eliminates the tension of having to produce profits from your passion – it allows you to explore without care.

And this simple trick boosts new levels of self-esteem that helps you remain enthusiastic at work.

Begin a side job

Everyone might not be inclined to agree with me. There are many who would like their interests to be a source of revenue. And why not, it is what they prioritize in their life. Such people can make their interests turn into additional side money.

A side job that stems from an interest serves a dual purpose. It brings in extra money and lets you engage in your passion, so you remain in close proximity to your identity. When you become involved in something that you are passionate about, it provides an adrenalin rush of a kind. That makes you feel positive and good about life.

Identify interests and skills that you find fulfilling. Look for part-time opportunities where you can put them to use. There are so many options –

  • If you are knowledgeable about something share it with the world. You could freelance as a writer and share your knowledge with the world. There are websites that pay you to do, or you could become an affiliate marketer or earn through adsense
  • If your work relates to web designing or if you have a passion for it, you could earn big bucks selling your skills online to interested people
  • If you played a sport in college you could coach youngsters in your housing complex – parents would definitely pay for your services, if you have the right skills

Look for ways to exploit your own talent. The key here is to keep it relevant to your personality. Don't do things you have no interest in. Getting the right break, outside of your office routine is sure to pep you and it will reflect in your personality, even at work. Look at it this way, you have the best, of two worlds!

In the second part of this article I have discussed different strategies that can be adapted to boost interest in your job. They will help you rediscover yourself and ignite new passions in you.

Article by Juana
Juana is a freelance writer, with years of experience, creating content for varied online portals. She holds a degree in English Literature and has worked as a teacher and as a soft skill trainer. An avid reader, she writes on a variety of topics ranging from health, travel, education and personality development.

Follow Juana or read 552 articles authored by Juana

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