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.
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?
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.
Current Challenges in the workplace
Probable ‘Root’ Thought
|Backstabbing – Pulling others down||Insecurity|
|Bribery, Malpractices, Dishonesty||Greed|
These challenges can be dealt with by simply changing the ‘root’ thought that influences this ‘action’.
|Backstabbing – Pulling others down||Insecurity||Assurance about your identity||Mutual encouragement and development|
|Gossiping about others||Jealousy||Love for others||Appreciating others|
|Bribery, Malpractices, Dishonesty||Greed, Selfishness||Generosity, Selflessness||Integrity 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
|Pressured to say and do things that you do not mean just to please others||Want of approval from others – unsure of your self-identity||Knowing who you are, being confident of your value and contribution||Being a transparent person whose words are always integral|
|Escaping from responsibility, pushing it to others, especially in difficult situations||Insecurity and lack of self-confidence||Secure in your identity and confidence in God||Accepting responsibility and accountability. Readiness to face challenges, whatever the outcome|
Personal and Career Growth Challenges
|Unable to develop skills that can help you grow||Lack of understanding of your purpose||Knowing your purpose in life||Ability to focus on the purpose and develop skills required for growth|
|Stuck in a job that you do not like||Thinking of work only as a means of income and livelihood||Thinking of work as an act of service through which you help others||Find 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:
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.