What motivates us at work?

“It seems that most of us thrive by feeling a sense of purpose. ”

– Dan Ariely


What motivates us at work?  What is it that drives us? Many people believe it is how much money you make.  But that didn’t make sense to me, there are too many other factors involved. Then I saw this quote by Dan ArielyIt seems that most of us thrive by feeling a sense of purpose. And I thought – yes that’s it.

And an experience last week at my work – Figjam Workshops – illustrated that beautifully.  Last week, my business partner Deb and I finished facilitating a 5 week Creative Empowerment Workshop for a group.  And during the closing circle, one of the participants said that during the workshop he had an epiphany, and that the workshop had changed his life!  Needless to say, Deb and I were in tears, and we looked at each other and both felt it – This is why we do this work!

It’s not for the money! Working for a charitable trust will never make us rich, as a matter of fact, by the end of the year when funding has run out, we usually find ourselves working several weeks for no pay at all.  We do the work because we love it.  And we love it because we feel an incredible sense of purpose.

Dan Ariely, professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University and a founding member of the Center for Advanced Hindsight, has this to say about motivation at work:

“So when we think about labor, we usually think about motivation and payment as the same thing, but the reality is that we should probably add all kinds of things to it — meaning, creation, challenges, ownership, identity, pride, etc. And the good news is that if we added all of those components and thought about them, how do we create our own meaning, pride, motivation, and how do we do it in our workplace and for the employees, I think we could get people to both be more productive and happier.”

In this stimulating and entertaining talk, Dan Ariely explains What Makes Us Feel Good About Our Work?

 

 

I’d love to hear about what makes you feel good about your work.  And as always, thank you for visiting, I appreciate it.

More on Equality

“I believe in equality for everyone”

– Mahatma Gandhi


New Zealand voted yes to equality – and the world (well a portion of the world) is cheering!

I wanted to add a wonderful speech that one of the politicians here in NZ made to Parliament on the day of the vote.  Maurice Williamson, a National (conservative) member of parliament made this statement – “Rainbow across my electorate”

 

 

And I really want to share a beautiful music videos.  Macklemore and Ryan Lewis – Same Love. Please take the time to watch this, it’s a wonderful video.

 

 

I’d love to hear your thoughts on equality and as always thanks for stopping by.

 

 

 

Equality

“I believe in equality for everyone”

– Mahatma Gandhi


Yesterday New Zealand voted yes to equality!

“Amid deafening cheers of joy and relief, the gay community last night finally achieved full equality with other New Zealanders with the passage of a law allowing same-sex partners to marry, in a vote of 77 to 44.”

The MPS cheered as the vote passed.  Even many staunch conservatives supported the legislation.

I’m proud of you New Zealand!  But in a way, I’m embarrassed for us all.  Is unity and equality so scary for some that it has taken us this long to “allow” two people who love each other to marry? Because it is so obvious that the opposite of unity is fear, and the opposite of love is fear. Why have so many people been so fearful for so long?

I know that for us to find true happiness, we have to overcome fear, all fear. Eve Ensler, of The Vagina Monologues fame, discusses finding happiness in body and soul.  She believes that

“happiness exists in action; it exists in telling the truth and saying what your truth is.”

So I applaud New Zealand for taking action and voting for equality.  I’d like to close with a powerful TED talk by Eve Ensler.

 

 

I’d love to hear from you about taking action in your own life. And as always, thank you for stopping by, I appreciate it.

Beliefs – Limiting or Empowering?

“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
your thoughts become your words,
your words become your actions,
your actions become your habits,
your habits become your values,
your values become your destiny”

– Mahatma Gandhi


Are your beliefs limiting or empowering? Does your belief system enhance your life or constrict it? One way or the other, our beliefs drive our life. Because as Gandhi points out, our beliefs become our thoughts, and eventually our destiny.  But how do we really know what beliefs are driving us?  I was first introduced to the impact of my limiting beliefs when I did the Silva Method Course. We explored this concept by doing a very simple exercise, which I invite you all to do now. Get a pen and paper and write down the very first thing that pops into your head when you read the following phrases – don’t think about it, don’t edit, just write the very first word that comes to your mind:

  1. Life is . . . 
  2. Money is . . .
  3. Making money is . . .
  4. Time is . . .
  5. My health is . . .
  6. My body is . . .
  7. My love life is . . .
  8. I deserve . . .
  9. There is always too much . . .
  10. There is never enough . . .

OK, hopefully you have been totally honest and written down the first thing that came into your head.  Now look at it – what beliefs are driving your life?  Where did you get those beliefs? Louise Thompson talks a lot about beliefs and how they drive your life on her blog, Positive Balance.  She puts it simply:

“If at some deep level you believe there will never be enough: you are exactly right, and there never will be. If you believe deep down that life is hard then you will have a hard life. If you believe in miracles you will see miracles everywhere. If you believe life is a struggle then struggle you will.”

Most limiting beliefs come from childhood.  Either our parents or our teachers said something about life or about us and we accepted it completely.  And very possibly, we had many experiences as we grew up that “proved” that belief to be true.  But those beliefs do not have to continue to limit us.  We can choose to change limiting beliefs, but the first step is identifying them (thus the simple exercise above.)  There are literally thousands of sites that talk about eliminating  limiting beliefs, but they all agree that the first step has to be identifying what they are.

On the flip side is embracing empowering beliefs.  And to close I want to share a wonderful TED Talk by an amazing woman named Caroline Casey. Visit her blog, Kanchi, it is inspirational! Caroline Casey is a walking example of empowering beliefs.

“It’s extraordinaryhow far belief can take you . . . when you really believe in yourself and everything about you, it’s extraordinary what happens . . . being absolutely true to yourself is freedom.”

Please take the time to explore your own belief systems – and then take the time to watch this woman who can help us all embrace more empowering beliefs about ourselves.

 

 

I’d love to hear about your beliefs – are they limiting or empowering?  Do they make you happier or bring you down?  And as always, thanks for stopping by, I appreciate it.

 

 

Why are happy people happy?

“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
your thoughts become your words,
your words become your actions,
your actions become your habits,
your habits become your values,
your values become your destiny”

– Mahatma Gandhi


I’m a happy person.  In my deepest core of being, I believe people are good, that things will work out and that essentially life is good!  I’m an optimist, what can I say?  I often have people say to me, “How come you are so happy? Why are you such an optimist?” And to be honest, I don’t have a pat answer for that.  So this weekend, when I got asked that, I decided to do some research, and I found some pretty interesting stuff.

One article I particularly liked was on a very cool blog called Successify! The creator of Successify, Dr. Kris Heap, credits Chiara Fucarino for the article. So I say thank you to both of these women for an amazing list.  The list boils down to the fact that happy people have positive habits.  They claim that there  are 22 things that Happy People do that create positive habits.

1. Don’t hold grudges.

2. Treat everyone with kindness.

3. See problems as challenges.

4. Express gratitude for what they already have.

5. Dream big.

6. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

7. Speak well of others.

8. Never make excuses.

9. Get absorbed into the present.

10. Wake up at the same time every morning.

11. Avoid social comparison.

12. Choose friends wisely.

13. Never seek approval from others.

14. Take the time to listen.

15. Nurture social relationships.

16. Meditate.

17. Eat well.

18. Exercise.

19. Live minimally.

20. Tell the truth.

21. Establish personal control.

22. Accept what cannot be changed.

For the full post and explainations of the 22 habits, do go visit Successify! It’s a great site.

But according to Gandhi, (and honestly, who’s gonna argue with him?) – Habits themselves come way down the list, following actions, words, thoughts and beliefs. So I decided to explore each of these in turn.  On my next blog post, I’ll explore beliefs, both positive and negative, and how they impact us.

But in the meantime, I’d like to leave you with a song. When I was thinking of a happy song, I was brought back to 1968, I was 10 years old, at Lincoln School, in the 5th grade. Our teacher, Miss Brown, let us listen to 45s in the class sometimes.  And I loved this song.  It made me happy – it’s just a happy song!

 

 

I’d love to hear about your habits – are they positive or negative?  Do they make you happier or bring you down?  And as always, thanks for stopping by, I appreciate it.

 

 

 

Be Kind Now!

”Our lives are not our own.  We are bound to others, past and present, and by each crime and every kindness we birth our future.”

– David Mitchell (Cloud Atas)


I watched an amazing movie last night with my sons, Lukas and Devin.  The movie is called Cloud Atlas – if you get a chance, it is well worth watching.  It’s a long, ambitious film – it has to be – since it’s based on the tome by David Mitchell.  Check out the trailer, even that is pretty epic!  At times it is confusing, but the main point comes through loud and clear – as our lives intersect, karma prevails, and one way or another our kindnesses or our cruelty come back to us. It is a bold and creative book/movie about karma, unity and connection.

I love the concept to Pay it Forward (another wonderful movie if you haven’t already seen it.) Practicing random acts of kindness makes such perfect sense to me. And even if we really don’t reincarnate, and even if karma does not prevail, paying it forward and being kind just feels good.  So how about we all just Be Kind Now! And with that in mind, I want to close with a wonderful video clip about paying it forward.  Enjoy!

I’d love to hear any stories of how you’ve experienced kindness being paid forward.  And as always, thank you for stopping by, I appreciate it.