For as a man thinks in his heart, so is he – Proverbs 23:7

These words of wisdom came from undoubtedly one of the wisest characters in the Bible – Solomon.

A thought always precedes any action. And the quality of that thought determines the quality of the following action. Our life is simply the sum of all our actions.

Thought Life Work Life

So, when we change the quality of our thought, we can change the quality of our actions, and hence the quality of our life. This is a principle that works in all the areas of our life.

For now, let us talk about our work-life.

If you aspire to live a successful work-life, then you need to have a successful thought-life. But what is successful thought-life? How should one think about the various aspects, challenges and situations at work?

Root Thoughts:

Every action has a thought that is at the ‘root’ of the action. If we can identify the ‘root’ thought and make changes to it in a conscious manner, we can significantly change the outcome of our life. Here are some practical ways of looking at these ‘root’ thoughts in our workplace. I will share a simple technique to monitor them and change them.

First, let us understand these ‘root’ thoughts from a practical perspective. Let us consider 5 areas of our work-life as a sample and look at the workplace challenges in those areas. You will start seeing how we can overcome these challenges by simply changing the ‘root’ thoughts that are responsible for the challenges.

Work Relationships

Current Challenges in the workplace

Probable ‘Root’ Thought

Backstabbing – Pulling others downInsecurity
GossipJealousy
Bribery, Malpractices, DishonestyGreed

These challenges can be dealt with by simply changing the ‘root’ thought that influences this ‘action’.

Original Challenge

Root Thought

Changed
outcome

 

Old

New

Backstabbing – Pulling others downInsecurity Assurance about your identityMutual encouragement and development
Gossiping about othersJealousyLove for othersAppreciating others
Bribery, Malpractices, DishonestyGreed, SelfishnessGenerosity, SelflessnessIntegrity and Honesty

You see the pattern? A simple thought level change can have a big effect on how you perceive and deal with a work situation that is negative and slows down your growth. Here are some more examples to give you more clarity.

Dealing with stakeholders

Challenge

Root ThoughtChanged
Outcome
Old

New

Pressured to say and do things that you do not mean just to please othersWant of approval from others – unsure of your self-identityKnowing who you are, being confident of your value and contributionBeing a transparent person whose words are always integral

Leadership situations

Challenge

Root ThoughtChanged
Outcome
Old

New

Escaping from responsibility, pushing it to others, especially in difficult situationsInsecurity and lack of self-confidenceSecure in your identity and confidence in GodAccepting responsibility and accountability. Readiness to face challenges, whatever the outcome

Personal and Career Growth Challenges

Challenge

Root ThoughtChanged
Outcome
Old

New

Unable to develop skills that can help you growLack of understanding of your purposeKnowing your purpose in lifeAbility to focus on the purpose and develop skills required for growth

Worklife Fulfillment

Stuck in a job that you do not likeThinking of work only as a means of income and livelihoodThinking of work as an act of service through which you help othersFind ways to help others using your natural gifts and developed talents – Find a job that enables you do it

How to change your root-thoughts:

By now you realize how changing the root thought can help you. But how do you change it? Especially when you are at work and multiple things are going on?

I use and recommend a technique called Micro Breaks with God to analyse the root thought. I use it all the time and it works everytime.

A practical tip – Take ‘Micro Breaks with God’

When you are facing a challenge or a tough situation at work, do these 4 simple steps:

  1. Go to a quiet corner and take a 2-minute micro-break (It could even be in your restroom) giving an opportunity for God to work in that situation
  2. Remove yourself (not necessarily physically) from your situation. Think objectively and think about the ‘root’ thoughts that you could change – it could be fear, insecurity, jealousy, envy, pride, lust, greed, etc.
  3. Pray for a minute and ask God to help you change the ‘root’ thought. This need not be an elaborate, religious prayer. Just 3 words like ‘God help me’ would also do. But open your mouth and say it.
  4. Get back into the situation and take the problem head-on!

I have used this personally in multiple situations in my work-life and it has helped me overcome many challenges. Hope this works for you too.

Leave your comments if you like to share your experience and encourage others.

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