I define authenticity as living in alignment to your values. What you value seems to dictate want you want out of your work (and life). I talk to a lot of professionals and a common theme is them wanting work to have (at least some) meaning.
So where does meaning come from?
In my last post I made reference to being spirit-driven. To me being spirit-driven in your work is being authentic (not faking it). When I wrote this post I did some reading on spirituality and came up with a neat definition:
“Having a profound relationship (with our work) based on the sharing or exchanging intimate thoughts and feelings.”
So from this definition there are a two components that need to be in place for your work to have some depth and meaning (spirit) to it.
- Your work is not superficial in nature and has aspects that allow you to express your most deeply held thoughts/feelings.
- It is about sharing and exchanging the above with others
Taking point one, where is it that our intimate thoughts/feelings come from? The answer is our beliefs, values or what I call truths (assumptions about life). The challenge I see with people trying to gain meaning from their work is that they do not have awareness of their truths, values etc therefore cannot align their work with them.
This is essentially about awareness of self, get to know what you want to stand for and then align your work with that (as best you can).
The second part of the definition relates to others. It seems that when we share our thoughts/feelings we create “spirit” within our work-life; so keeping your thoughts and feelings to yourself is not going to create as much meaning in your work.
Tips to make your work more meaningful (spirit-driven)
- Take some time to list your values and become familiar with them; see below for a tool to help you do this
- Aim to shape your work roles so that your values can be expressed or shared by way of exchanging thoughts/feelings with others in the workplace
Look at the work you do and consider how it can be more aligned with the values you have identified. There may be aspects of your current role that you can do more or less of or alternatively significant change may be your best option.
To help you become more spirit-driven I have created a tool and accompanying video to help you discover your values, you can access it here. This is part of my online self-development program but I have made this module available free of charge, enjoy!
About Niall’s work
The coaching work I do firstly uncovers a person’s truths and then proceeds to look at what needs to change. This I have found (through trial & error) is much more effective method that simply choosing a conscious behaviour to change and using “willpower” to create new habits.