Is there a connection between our own spiritual growth and our work? Most people keep them separate. It’s pretty common to feel that ‘work is work’ and anything spiritual doesn’t belong in our professional lives. In many businesses a contrary view of what it is to be a working professional and an effective leader is emerging.
Aren’t we most fulfilled when our life’s purpose and our work are aligned?
Robert Frost says it brilliantly in the last stanza of “Two Tramps in Mudtime”
My object in living is to unite
My avocation and my vocation
As my two eyes make one in sight.
Only where love and need are one,
And the work is play for mortal stakes,
Is the deed ever really done
For Heaven and the future’s sakes.
Aren’t leaders most effective when they inspire those around them to their best work?
Inspiring others isn’t something that comes from authority. Authority produces compliance. Inspiration is not something that we can’t fake or think through with our minds.
The etomology of the word inspire is “to breath life into”. It is the ability to access the deepest parts of ourselves; and in so doing touch the hearts, as well as the minds, of those around us. Accessing the peace of the heart, speaking from that sacred place, and touching the hearts of others is what makes great leaders. The ability to inspire others can be developed; but it is a deeply personal exploration, some might say a spiritual one.
Aren’t we most effective when we can stay grounded and present during chaotic events at work?
This is more than just ’staying calm’, it is the ability to let our purpose guide us, to be totally present to what is happening, and to take appropriate action. The deeper we feel our purpose at work the easier it is to navigate chaos. Our purpose is our GPS system. The more we can stay present in the midst of chaos and not let our minds run away into judgments or worry, or thinking in general; the more we can see the situation clearly and the better the chances we will act appropriately.
If we connect with people and we are truly present with them, aren’t we more apt to build trust with them?
Being present means not thinking about what we are going to say next, nor is it having silent judgments about what they are saying, “That’s not right.” “That’s naive.” “That’s a great idea.” It is listening, actively and openly. Training our minds to be present is the underlying concept of meditation, a deeply spiritual endeavor.
The workplace may be the very best place for us to engage our spiritual selves. The connection between our spiritual journeys and the effectiveness of our work lives is impossible to sever. We may think we can compartmentalize our spirit from our work, but over time the artificial barriers break down. After all, we can’t help being who we are.
Aren’t we most effective and most fulfilled when we are fully human, fully ourselves…even at work?