I have been thinking a lot in the last few weeks about the importance of gratitude. In my personal life I have found that practicing gratitude shapes my perception of my wellbeing. It hard to feel dissatisfied or feel the need to keep with up with Jones’s when your attitude is one of profound gratitude.
But as I look beyond to personal life to my professional life I find myself challenged. There are times when my attitude in my professional life is not quite what it might be. The dynamics in professional life are a bit different to personal life, but I know that there are times when I show up less than fully committed. To me this is professional equivalent of dissatisfaction.
This is not to say that I think I need to sell my soul to prove my commitment. No, rather there are times when I know that for some reason I have not performed as well as I might have. I have a sneeky suspicion that that doesn’t come down to passion or ability, but rather the way in which I am choosing to show up.
Maybe it is just me, but we seem to get a strong message from society that full commitment requires a massive time commitment. To put this another way – the number of hours we work appears to be directly proportional to our level of commitment. To work the allotted 40 hours indicates minimum commitment. But I think this is horribly warped.
40 hours of focused, committed presence, is much more valuable than 60 hours of physical presence but mental half-heartedness.
I’m still trying to figure out what the equivalent of gratitude is in a work context. Gratitude isn’t quite the right word for me. I know the flavour of the attitude but I haven’t quite put my finger on it yet. It encapsulates whole-heartedness and conscious presence, and gives the freedom to relax at the end of the day.
Whilst I cannot yet name it – I am praying for the grace to have this attitude. I suspect too, that as with gratitude, the practice fosters the attitude and over time may shape my perception of my reality.