My first Sufi spiritual teacher always said – “You can always love more.” By this he meant more in terms of depth and breadth.
What would you need to do, to love your work more in 2024? For too long we have talked about work -life balance in ways that portray work as a burden we then have to recover from. In contrast I aim to leave each week of work more energised, alive and creative than when the week began.
So, what have I discovered enables this to happen?
- Discover the deeper purpose in your work. Work out who and what your work serves, for whom your work creates value and benefit. Love what you do and love those who benefit from it.
- Being in love with learning. Every person and team I coach and every person I train and/or supervise, I see as my next teacher. I have made a commitment that if I ever teach a course or workshop and do not: a) learn something new; b) teach something new; and c) upgrade the program, it will be the last time I teach that course.
- Teach what you are learning. I believe that we do not learn by being taught, only when we turn what we have read or heard into our own enacted practice. Also, that we learn most by teaching what we are learning to others, as then we need to be clear in understanding the learning and have to embody it.
- Always be curious. Be fascinated by everyone you meet; they all have an interesting story to tell. Also be curious about new places, their history and culture; new subjects and ways of working different to yours.
- Surround yourself with great colleagues and partners. When I was in my mid-twenties and running a therapeutic community, I realised that my boss could not supervise my work, so I formed a peer supervision group and recruited people from many different organizations. My learning and love of the work quickly multiplied. Create a group of great colleagues, compatriots with a shared purpose. Help those already in your team, by discovering their passion and helping them to develop it more fully at work.
- Treat every difficult person and situation that you encounter as a ‘generous lesson life has sent you.” Our most difficult clients, colleagues, bosses or teams are potentially best teachers, so rather than getting frustrated by them, ask yourself what they need you to learn.
- Work from source rather than from effort. Each summer I run advanced retreats at Barrow Castle near Bath UK and we explore how to work from source and renewable energy, rather than ego effort and energy that is not renewable. This entails letting go of believing it is you doing the work, and having to perform and get it right, and realise you are always working in partnership and just a channel for the work happening.
- Create teams that are synergistic and are more than the sum of their parts. Teams that enjoy being together, but even more love what they are collectively and collaboratively achieving together for the benefit of those they serve. Teams that have a collective purpose, remembering it is the purpose that creates the team, not the team members who create the purpose.
I invite you to think of three easy ways you could love your work more in 2024.
I will be starting the year by teaching a Systemic Team Coaching 3-day training in Houston USA 22-24th January 2024, assisted by Steliana van de Rijt-Economu and meeting up with as many of our North American alumni who can join us on the evening of the 23rd January. I will love learning from each new trainee and how our alumni are taking the work into new worlds. If you would love to learn with me visit https://www.renewalassociates.co.uk/stc/stc-certificate-houston/