Sustained Basic Goodness—How to Amaze and Delight Yourself as You Enjoy the Passage of Time

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Sustained Basic Goodness—How to Amaze and Delight Yourself as You Enjoy the Passage of Time

When we realize that instead of being helplessly strapped onto the roller coaster of life, we are actually the track codesigner, the ticket taker, and the maintenance worker, things shift. We have increased awareness in the moment of our patterns, triggers, and options. We tend to see things from an observer perspective, rather than a dramatic one. There is even a lighthearted approach to the stressors and hassles that used to wear us down. In short, while there is no shortage of challenges, we wake up eager to meet the day and lie down at night grateful for having experienced another one.

Sample scenario #1: Isabella has lost her mother, best friend, and a close coworker to cancer in the last two years. In addition, her house was seriously flooded in an epic storm, and one of her children was recently diagnosed with diabetes. Yet she appears to be one of the most well-adjusted people in the office. When a colleague asked her how she dealt with all the stress in her life, she replied, “I refuse to allow the circumstances of life to keep me from enjoying my life.”

Sample scenario #2: Paul is the calm center of a chaotic workplace. He has the ability to shift the meetings back on track, to reach out to those who need extra assistance, and to somehow complete his work without always staying late or grumbling. He has many interesting and pithy sayings in his work space, one of them being “Experience is what you get when you don’t get what you want.”

Why will this help me at work? Being fully engaged yet able to practice the “art of healthy detachment,” we are much more buoyant and resilient. This is not some New Age false bliss or convenient system of denial—it is being able to make a reasonable assessment of the current situation, examine our options, draw upon our support systems, and move through what’s at hand without being handicapped.

Why is this so difficult at times? We all fall back into our old patterns—confusing work with old family crap, slipping into fault and blame, not finding the courage to enter into supportive confrontation, getting caught up in dysfunctional group dynamics. The list goes on …

Your frank self-assessment:

  • Do you feel reasonably good more often than not?
  • Can you catch yourself as you slide into negative states much of the time?
  • Is there richness, contentment, and joy in your daily life?

My tips:

  • What we’re talking about here is basically the full integration of your life—without perfectionism, self-judgment, or negativity. Your mission is to do the best you can.
  • In order to assist in the raising of consciousness in your organization and with the people around you, it has to be authentically emanating from you, not from an ego-based place. So, continue to practice getting out of your own way.
  • There is one factor that—as a general rule—increases our perspective and wisdom. I call it “more years on the planet” (also known as “getting older”). So, embrace the process of collecting wisdom.

Action for traction:

  • Train yourself to find the place in your body that signals you when things start to tighten up or get weird. It can be tightness in the throat, a pressure on the chest, or a squirrelly stomach—these are our natural cues that we need to pay attention, that something is out of alignment in the present moment.
  • If you don’t have a good circle of five-gold-star peers, do what it takes to get them. I have a monthly two to four-hour commitment in service to the Certified B Corp community. This community and my participation in it means everything to me.
  • Who wants what’s best for you? Who wants what’s best from you? A measure of true love is those wonderful people in our lives who both support us and challenge us. Give them your full attention and affection, and you’ll be much better for it.

Baked-in benefits:

  • When others experience that we can deal with virtually anything with skill, style, and grace, they generally deal with us differently and positively.
  • Since there is no “future state of happiness”—only what we can experience now—there is no good reason to postpone your greater sense of fulfillment.
  • When we fully embrace “If not you, then who? If not now, then when?” there is a sense of truly being the architect of our destiny.

Excerpt From: Flip Brown. “Balanced Effectiveness at Work. How to Enjoy the Fruits of Your Labor without Driving Yourself Nuts.”  Published by: Starr Farm Press