This post contains my personal notes from the book: “Are you really charged? ” by Tom Rath. In this book, Tom Rath says that three key conditions energise our lives-
- Meaning: doing something that benefits another person.
- Interactions: creating far more positive than negative moments
- Energy: making choices that improve your physical and mental health
The steps that one can implement to create these conditions are as follows:
1.Create meaning with small wins. Creating meaning for others matters more than pursuing happiness for yourself. Seek to spend significant amount of your free time on activities that create meaning. Add one meaningful activity to your daily or weekly routine. Make meaningful progress through your work from today. Reflect on the meaningful things you have done over the last month.
2. Pursue life, liberty and meaningfulness. Meaningful work is driven by deep, internal motivation. Reflect on your job and see whether it helps another person, makes a process more efficient, or produce something that people need. Look at whether the external motivators( material reward of some sort) tend to pull you in the wrong direction. Aspire to do even more for the people you serve. Remind yourself of your intrinsic motivation as to why you do what you do?
3.Make work a purpose – not just a place. Your work should improve your overall well-being. See how you can change the way you work that would allow you to spend more time on meaningful efforts. Reflect on whether the work you do improves your life and makes you feel part of a shared mission.
4. Find a higher calling than cash. Keep money from killing meaning for the sake of your well-being. The work you do should make your relationships stronger, your physical health better and help you to contribute to society. Yes, money is important but make sure it does not steer you in the wrong direction.
5. Ask what the world needs. You create meaning when your strengths and interests meet another person’s needs. Look at what are some of the most important unmet needs among your friends, colleagues, customers and community. Reflect on your unique talents and abilities-what you can do better than most people you know. See if you make the two meet and have a fulfilling positive life by making a long-term contribution to society.
6. Don’t fall into the default. Cast your own shadow by building your dreams into your job. This means to do more of the tasks that energize and engage you so much that you lose track of time. This means to work with people who energize your days. This means to change the way you work so you can see how you make a difference to others.
7. Initiate to shape the future. Instead of responding to every ringing bell, focus on less to do more. Arrange your work in such a way that you spend a smaller percentage of time responding to emails, texts and phone calls and more time initiating work that you really want to do. Work smarter rather than harder. Focus only on a few meaningful things at any given time. Use technology to help minimize distractions instead of allowing them to disrupt you.
8. Focus for 45, break for 15. Work in bursts, take frequent breaks, and keep the mission in mind. Structure your day so you can work in spurts and be more effective. Remind your colleagues and friends about the importance of their work and see whether you can take a “field trip” to see the influence of your work more directly.
9. Make every interaction count. Our days depend on brief interactions with the people around us. Infuse positive energy into your interactions with others. Do something that will add a positive charge to someone’s day. Learn from friends and colleagues who add positive energy to your environment.
10. Be 80 percent positive. Focus most of your time and attention on what is working. This means to look at the positive side in every situation. Reflect on how many of your interactions are positive. Make sure to other people that you are looking positively at their efforts. Look at the most meaningful praise or recognition you have received over the last year and look at the positive aspects of it.
11. Start small and be clear. Practical goals and good questions create speed and productivity. Take a small action today to boost the well-being of your closest friend. Look at what one good question you can ask an acquaintance to learn more about what is going on in their work or life. Look at ways to invest more time and energy into your productive relationships.
12. Take a break for relationships. Social networks that we take for granted can profoundly shape our lives. Build more in-person social time into your work. Spend time with friends and family members who improve your health and well-being. Pay full and undivided attention to other people when you are together.
13. Put experiences first. Spending on people and experiences yields the greatest return. Plan an experience or a trip to create greater well-being for yourself or others. Invest more time or financial resources in the long-term growth of another person. Help others to look forward to an upcoming experience or trip you have planned. Help someone else benefit from the memories of a past experience.
14. Avoid flying solo. We do better work when we collaborate and have shared incentives. Involve other people to create the best moments of your life. Rather than competing, spend time creating new value for other people or groups.Create rewards, recognition and incentives that center around group goals.
15. Build a cumulative advantage.The more you focus on another person’s strengths, the faster they grow. Spot unique talents in yourself and grow them. Point out exceptional abilities in other people. Be specific, sincere and detailed.
16. Put your own health first. When you eat, move and sleep well, you can do more for others. Put your own health first in the midst of a demanding day. Build small, healthy choices into your lifestyle for good. Notice your mood, energy levels, interactions and productivity on days when you eat, move and sleep well.
17. Eat your way to a better day. Eating well starts with healthier defaults and decisions and with making every bite count. Build the central elements of a healthy diet in your routine. Add healthier standby snacks to your routine. Eat foods that improve your mood and your energy.
18. Learn to walk before you run. Being active throughout the day matters most for your health and well-being. The more you move, the better your mood. Spend less time sitting. Add more activity to your routine. Remind yourself to take a break from sitting at least once to twice every hour, even if it is only for 30 seconds.
19. Sleep longer to achieve more. Every hour of sleep is an investment in your future, not an expense. Get enough sleep so that you feel rested and more effective during the day. Make sleep an important priority in your family, work and social circles. Make one small adjustment in your bedroom to get consistently better sleep.
20.Eat, move and sleep to destress. Your daily actions can keep chronic stress from accumulating and doing more damage. Ensure you are eating, moving and sleeping better every day. Structure your days to avoid situations that are constantly stressful. Reduce the time you spend with people who create stress in your life.
21. Respond with resiliency. Your reaction to a potential stressor is more important than the stressor itself. Reframe your stressors( why it matters or why it is meaningful to you) in a way that adds motivation while decreasing stress. When you face an immediate stressor, remind yourself to mentally push “pause” before you respond hastily to someone else – online or in person. Learn from your resilient reponses to previous major challenges to turn your next major stressor into a more meaningful challenge.