Keeping up the levels of enthusiasm can be hard at times, but there are steps everyone can take to keep the flame alive.
People in today’s workplaces are expected to have high levels of energy and enthusiasm. It’s not always that easy – especially when you are exhausted so much of the time, taking on so many things to do and trying to have a life outside of work. There seems to be more business owners (and less managers and staff) who need to work longer hours and often perform extra tasks.
Health and lifestyle
Both health and lifestyle have a large impact on how much energy and enthusiasm people are able to maintain throughout the day. People with high levels of energy and enthusiasm often have a number of characteristics in common. They have sparkly eyes, their skin looks healthy, and they tend to smile a lot. There are also certain things they do, which help them to maintain their energy levels.
- Drinking lots of water, thereby hydrating yourself – five to six glasses a day. Coffee and tea are not good as they deplete the levels of water in the body. Water should be consumed on a regular basis, before you become thirsty.
- Exercise, at least a walk every day, usually for at least half an hour. Ideally 40 to 60 minutes of walking during a lunch break is good as it gets you out of the office. Find a buddy who will do it with you, to help motivate you to maintain the good habit.
- Eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. In doing so, you feel much brighter and healthier. Heavy meals tend to slow people down.
- Avoid alcohol, especially during the day. Alcohol slows you down and consuming a glass or two during a lunch break will often ruin productivity for the rest of the day.
Negative ideas and beliefs will directly affect levels of energy and enthusiasm. People who are negative, or tend to blame others, often have a negative influence on those around them. Their attitude is contagious. Likewise, an optimistic attitude is contagious, and positive people tend to have a very good effect on a workplace and can even make it fun.
Teaching people to be optimistic
Pessimistic thoughts and ideas need to be challenged. For example, a pessimistic person after a job interview that went poorly might say, “I’m no good at job interviews, I always mess them up.” Challenge this belief by saying to that person, “Are you really that hopeless at job interviews? You got this job didn’t you, so you can’t be that bad…?” Negative beliefs need to be challenged, in order to push people toward the more positive end of the scale.
Optimists set a wonderful example. By being seen as having more fun they often cause other people to question themselves. If you hold negative beliefs about life, work and yourself, you need to re-write your scripts. You need to take notice of when you may be being negative, and begin to make a change by creating a “new enthusiasm” for everything, to see what it feels like to be enthusiastic in a situation.
Finding a sense of meaning
If your work does not have meaning, this can affect the levels of energy and enthusiasm you have in completing it. Surprisingly this thought may cross your mind even when you own the business. Suddenly something makes you rethink your work and your life and you question how satisfied you really are.
Everyone needs a sense of meaning in their work. If you feel you have none, you could talk to someone and discuss it and say that you are not really feeling fulfilled or challenged. You might want to consider the company’s goals and/or vision statement to see if you can find yourself some personal meaning or have input into what can be done via the business to add meaning for you and others.
Often people get meaning when they are extended or pushed, so seek further opportunities to be challenged. Maybe the reality is that there is no meaning to be found for you in the job or the business, and that it is a mismatch, in which case you probably need to start looking elsewhere.
The “search for meaning” often hits people in mid-life. They start their careers with high levels of motivation and enthusiasm, but then burn out. This can be related to a lack of meaning in their work, a lack of “what’s really important”. Research shows that often if there is a lack of meaning, the best thing to do is “sit with it”. If you do so for long enough, some new meaning will often come up.
Putting the spark back into life
Ultimately, the individual must take the responsibility of putting the spark back into their own life. Nobody else can put the spark back into it for them – it is something that must be found from within. You can always ask for help though, if you know what would put the spark back in and who can help you with it. Find and make opportunities to do things that you know you enjoy and have energy and enthusiasm for.
By Eve Ash, psychologist and Managing Director, Seven Dimensions, and co-producer with Peter Quarry of the Ash.Quarry production – Energy and Enthusiasm (from the Take Away Training series) www.7dimensions.com.au
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