Do you feel totally empty, lost, joyless at work? Even if it is a good company, pays decently and there is nothing too bad to complain? The first reaction of the mind is to analyse, analyse, analyse. I will not suggest to think your way out of this problem. You cannot.
The other common reaction is to compare yourself to the less fortunate: “There are so many people who would be happy to get what I have. Compared to them, I should be so much more happy” That feels…sadistic. Even if you are able to derive joy out of that comparison and feel lucky…what after that? Search for more unfortunate people? It does not work.
The good news is you have hit rock bottom – so the only way you can move now is up. 🙂
So follow these 3 simple steps:
1. Make sure you do not need professional help.
Feeling low, unfulfilled is normal. But if it has reached a level where it is affecting your appetite(you are eating too much or too less), your sleep, your weight. If it has lasted continuously for weeks together – then seek help from a therapist.
2. Drop all goals and give everything you do your 100%
This might sound very counter-intuitive. But read carefully. The suggestion is not to get 100%, but do 100%. What happens usually is we are focused on what we get, rather than fully involved with what we are doing. If you are working, you might be fantasizing about watching Netflix and feeling bad that you cannot get enough enjoyment. If you are watching Netflix, then you might be feeling guilty about not putting your time to good use and achieving life goals. So you end up enjoying neither your work nor Netflix. So you feel worse. Enjoyment and fulfillment level drops even further. And you get trapped in a downward spiral.
Instead, whatever you are doing, do it 100%. YOUR 100%. Which might vary from time to time. Are you watching a movie? Try to immerse yourself in that..laugh, cry whatever. Are you working? Try to ask yourself on that day – have you given it your best? did all you could? Not to achieve anything. Just out of commitment maybe Don’t try to pick up anything to interest you, just give your 100% to whatever you HAVE picked up. Eventually you will feel like taking up some more things up(I promise), take them up – give them your 100%. Do not hurry. Give it time. If you are not sure if its time or not, then its not. Pick up only when you really want to. Not when you think you SHOULD.
Also, when I say 100% – I do not mean from a ‘performance/output’ way, I mean it in an immersing yourself way…WITHOUT CARING ABOUT THE OUTPUT. Even if you do not come out on tops, you should still be able to say “I did give it my best shot”.
The underlying secret is this: Goals, expectations, greatness all make us try 120%. We forget what is OUR 100%. We lose touch with ourselves. Then we fail. Become depressed. Our ability drops down to 60%. We feel guilty. So we try for 80%….come down to 50%….more depression….
If you are at 40% right now – its OK. Genuinely Starting from 40% is infinitely more important than aiming for 90%.
The best place to start is from where you are.
3. Get in touch with your inner compass and energy source
When you have taken it easy and recovered enough to reflect, you might want to get in touch with your values and passions. Values are our inner compass which determine how fulfilled we feel in life. Passions are our energy source. Download this E-book which helps you identify you values and passions and align your life with them.
Focusing purely on the effort allows us to be in the present moment. Frees us from the clutches of past regret and future anxieties. Reflecting on values and passions helps us discover paths to reconnect back with ourselves and find inner clarity and joy. Try it!