If You Don’t Know What Direction You’re headed, You May Already Be Lost ...
In this issue: If You Don’t Know What Direction You’re headed, You May Already Be Lost… / More than one-in-five Americans are unable to disconnect after work hours / Self-Care is Not the Solution for Burnout / The Lighter Side
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I'm Andrea J. Miller and this is my “On Leading Well” Newsletter. I send this to people in my networks, people I’ve met recently, and friends I want to keep in touch with. You can unsubscribe (SEE THE VERY BOTTOM OF THE EMAIL) anytime, I won’t be offended
If You Don’t Know What Direction You’re headed, You May Already Be Lost…
It’s hard to get truly lost these days.
We have GPS in our phones, watches, and cars.
And if you don’t know the way, Siri will happily tell you.
But what about our greatest journey…
That of our lives.
When I first went off on my own after college, I didn’t know where I was headed.
For a while, I drifted, going from one direction to another.
It took a while, and I definitely took the long way, but eventually, I found my path.
That is until life forced me to take a detour.
Which of course led me down a different, even more, “interesting” path.
The thing is, once you take that first step in the wrong direction, the further away you’ll end up from your ultimate goal (if you have one).
In this way, it’s a lot like ancient times, you know, before GPS.
We’d make a left when we were supposed to take a right, and about 20 minutes later, realize that we were lost.
Life isn’t so different, but instead of minutes, those wrong turns can take years.
Years of time you can’t get back.
However, not all “missteps” take you in the wrong direction.
In fact, what you thought was a wrong turn, may actually put you on the right path.
The path you were always meant to be on.
For me, it took quitting a job that was a really bad fit (long before the “Great Resignation” was a thing) and turning a 3-month Spanish language trip into a year-long South American adventure to find my way.
I learned that what I thought was the right direction, wasn’t right at all (for me).
But that’s a difficult thing to recognize at the moment unless we have landmarks.
These come in the form of our values, goals, and beliefs.
In short, the things that help us to flourish.
Martin Seligman, the “father of positive psychology”, brought the Aristotelian concept back into prominence with his book with the same title.
In his research, he found that nurturing human flourishing and well-being is far richer and deeper than happiness.
At the core of this work were five pillars, well-being and Happiness (or Positive Emotion), and Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, and Accomplishment or PERMA.
He viewed these as the building blocks for a life of deep fulfillment.
Creating a personal GPS for life is as simple and complicated as understanding what drives your PERMA.
While the underlying foundation is the same for each of us, the ratios/recipe is uniquely, distinctly, and beautifully yours.
So, how will you find your way to a flourishing life?
Your PERMAnent GPS
· Increasing Positive emotions help build physical, intellectual, psychological, and social resources that lead to the core strengths of resilience and overall wellbeing.
To increase positive emotions, pay attention to what generates positive emotions for you. Is it time with family and friends, time in nature, or simply reflecting on what you're grateful for? The key is to recognize what provides you with that positive energy and to continually seek ways to add more of it into your life.
· Engagement is about “flow,” e.g. living in the present moment and fully focusing on the task at hand. Not surprisingly, researchers found that this state was more easily attained when people were using their strengths in new ways.
The easiest ways to obtain it are to identify and learn about your character strengths and practice being in the moment, by participating in activities you love and allowing you to engage those strengths.
· Relationships are about feeling supported, loved, and valued by others. We are, by nature, inherently social creatures, developing, growing, and nurturing those relationships (whatever that means for you) is a critical component of flourishing.
The most effective ways to increase your “R” is by improving your relationships with those you are closest to and, for some, developing new friendships. As with most things, it’s about knowing yourself and what you need.
· Another core human quality is our need for Meaning and that sense of value and worth. What provides a sense of meaning is different for everyone.
Ways to build meaning, including getting involved in a cause or organization that matters to you; creative activities you connect with and using your passions/strengths to help others, etc.
· The final pillar is Accomplishments/Achievements. Accomplishment includes the concepts of perseverance and that passion for goal attainment. It’s in the striving toward something just for the sake of the pursuit and improvement
Simple ways to increase your “A” are to set goals that are SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound), reflect on past successes, and, perhaps most importantly, celebrate your achievements.
RECOMMENDED LISTENS, READS And other interesting things
LifeWorks Mental Health Index™ reveals 21 percent of Americans struggle with disconnecting after regular work hours
Psychologist Justin D. Henderson makes the case that we need to address the systemic and cultural dimensions of burnout.
The Lighter Side
Are there any other subjects you want me to cover? Questions? Hit “Reply” and tell me!
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Andrea J. Miller, ACC, SHRM-SCP
+1 (646) 556-5401 (Whatsapp)