“I am going to keep having fun every day I have left, because there is no other way of life. You just have to decide whether you are a Tigger or an Eeyore.”
– Randy Pausch
Not long ago, I was stunned to learn that only 27 percent of American workers believe they are engaged with their work and find it to be meaningful. Sadly, the remaining 73 percent aren’t happy in their careers.
Isn’t that just one of saddest things you’ve ever heard?
Although there are many facets to our sense of well-being, I wouldn’t be surprised to discover that unhappiness at work is a major contributing factor to the meteoric rise in anxiety and depression in our over-busy and distracted world.
Cindy Henson is one of the most positive people I’ve known, and she has so much to say about how being disengaged in your job will have a negative impact on your entire life. Not only will you be less productive at work, but your entire mood will probably shift. Like Eeyore in the beloved Winnie the Pooh story, you could easily find yourself seeing everything in a negative light. Instead of saying YES to all of the possibilities that life holds, you could find yourself saying no to everything, including your own life.
“Wish I could say yes, but I can’t.”
This story of “I can’t” is just that – a story taking the form of an internal narrative that you don’t have to buy into. And by internal narrative, I mean the story you keep telling yourself about yourself and the life you’re choosing to live. The key is understanding the story is changeable.
“So…” you might be thinking, “how in the world do I change the narrative when I hate my job so much?”
This is where Cindy’s principle, Tapping Into Your Fun Quotient could be helpful. She believes it’s so helpful, in fact, that she made it the very FIRST principle in her 7 Principles to Peace, Purpose and Freedom – which you can read more about in her memoir here.
“Tap into Your Fun Quotient! When we set our intentions on having fun, even the most difficult situations and tasks can be much more enjoyable. When one person is determined to have fun, others often join in. So, smile, laugh, and have a good time – wherever life takes you. Life, and especially work, can be joyful and adventures – and more rewarding in a joyful environment.”
– Cindy Henson, Jungle: A Journey to Peace, Purpose and Freedom
The first step is acknowledging where your fun quotient actually is. On a scale of 1-10 how engaged do you feel in your life? Your work? It won’t take months of therapy or a degree in rocket science to answer this question.
If you self-score lower than 7, it’s probably a good time to remind yourself of the times you have felt joy and fulfillment in your life. Here are some questions to help get your awareness triggered:
What was the first concert you went to that you really enjoyed as a young person?
What were you doing the last time you felt you lost track of time and were in the “the zone” of creativity or productivity?
Who were you with the last time you were engaged in what you were doing or felt a sense of happiness and belonging?
Answering these questions will provide powerful data that can inspire experiments that will bring your true self – and happier self–into being. Ask yourself, “How can I do more of THAT?” and see if there are happiness experiments you can conduct within your job and at home. You can even take a leadership role and try to get your manager and co-workers involved.
It’s so important is to realize that there ARE numerous possibilities at your fingertips to choose to be curious, and playful. It’s true – you have the power to choose to create and listen to a narrative of being Eeyore or… Tigger!
Now you might be thinking something like, “Cindy, you don’t know my boss!” or, “Oh my Lord! You haven’t experienced the culture in my office!” or, “No one even notices all the good work I do!” or, “I WORK for Eeyore!”
Everyone here at CindyHenson.online completely hears you and it could be the lack of fun in your work is a signal that you need to move out of your current position and find a new job where your innate skills and talents are recognized and valued. But you could be surprised at how easy it might be to become the harbinger of levity where you already are.. You never know what might happen when you start smiling more at your colleagues – not to mention at the person looking back from the mirror – the woman who deserves to be living with a strong sense of purpose and fulfillment.
We believe it’s within everyone’s power to decide to be curious – bravely step up to the plate and try taking some playful initiative.
When you become determined to have fun, others often join in. So, smile, laugh and have a good time–be willing to follow where life takes you. Life, and especially work, can be joyful and adventurous.
How can you be more adventurous today? The more you exercise your capacity for fun, the more rewards you will reap, whether it’s in your present place of employment, or while looking for the next best step toward the job of your dreams.
With much love!