The Art of Strengths Coaching

J is for Enjoying The Journey

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How can you do fulfilling work? One approach is to do activities where you enjoy the journey as much as reaching the goal. These may be when you are writing, gardening, creating, solving problems, teaching or whatever.

Let’s consider where this happens for you.

Defining The Activities
Where You Enjoy The Journey

“I am extremely goal focused,” said one person. “But strangely I like working on projects where I become absorbed in the process as much as achieving the prize. That is actually when I learn the most and grow.

“My style is to start by defining the results to achieve, plus the benefits. I create a project plan for achieving the goals – then set off on the journey.

“Frequently I follow a daily rhythm and do this without thinking. This frees my mind to make decisions along on the way.

“I love to tackle problems, make sense of things and implement decisions. Sometimes I am so absorbed in the work that crossing the line comes as a surprise.”

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to describe the specific activities where you enjoy the journey as much as reaching the goal.

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Doing More Of The Activities
Where You Enjoy The Journey

How to make this happen? One approach is to get the balance between being proactive and reactive and establish a rhythm.

Some people start by blocking out times for doing the daily tasks, some of which involve being reactive. They then create time for their chosen activities.

This sound simple but, as we know, it is often the transitions between different activities that takes energy. Nevertheless, some people find it helpful to set aside blocks of time to concentrate on certain activities.

Many times we hear people say something like: “I spent yesterday working from home. I got more done than I ever do at work.”

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Some people develop this pattern early in their lives. Some entrepreneurs, for example, find ways to follow their own rhythm, rather than that of an institution.

Some people find ways to follow this pattern in their busy lives, whilst also fulfilling their other commitments. They do the daily tasks, but also set aside time to exercise, work in the garden or whatever. Spending time in these sanctuaries gives them the strength to re-centre and manage other things.

Some people develop ways to follow this approach as they grow older. They may have previously been driven by a compelling purpose. Such as paying off the mortgage, raising the children, rising in a corporation or whatever. Freed from these responsibilities, they look for a new purpose.

Sometimes this can be difficult to find. Instead of going into an existential angst, however, they create blocks of time where they do things that give them positive energy. They enjoy doing these things and, as a bonus, sometimes they also find a new sense of purpose.

How can you focus on the activities where you enjoy the journey as much as reaching the goal? If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme.

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  Developing In The Activities
Where You Enjoy The Journey

One way to develop is to delve deeply and learn from the experience. Some people do this when going through the creative process of absorption, adventure and achievement.

They start by becoming totally absorbed in an activity. They then enjoy the adventure of learning and development. Finally they reach the goal and experience a sense of achievement.

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Great workers do deep learning when going through this process. They often revisit the experience, take stock and try to improve. One person said:

“Every night I recorded what I had learned or relearned that day. Time and again I saw the same patterns repeated. These highlighted what I could do to maintain and improve my performance.”

Another factor that helps people to develop is by slowing down when doing things they love. Carl Honoré highlighted this approach in his books such as In Praise of Slow and The Slow Fix. You can discover more about his work via the following link.

http://www.carlhonore.com/

Sometimes we need fast thinking to get the pieces of the jigsaw. But many of our epiphanies come from doing slow thinking. Taking time out to reflect, the pieces fall into place and help us to make sense of the picture.

You will, of course, have your own approach to making such breakthroughs. If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. You can then continue to develop when enjoying the journey.

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