By Dr. Daneen Skube
Tribune Content Agency
Q. I always hear about the power of being in the present and can see the "now" might have spiritual benefit. I fail, however, to see how being present can help me make more money or advance in my company. Plus, when I attempt to be more present I tend to see more problems.
A. What I tell my executive coaching clients is that being present has two outcomes.
Yes, you'll see more problems, which will make you uncomfortable, but you also can solve those problems. The second outcome is you can actually perceive opportunities which are invisible to others who miss out on the power of the now.
For centuries spiritual teachers have written about how important it is to your soul's development to be in the moment. Unfortunately, most spiritual teachers didn't say much about how to use this power to more effectively handle mundane and worldly concerns.
Ironically, the thing you can do that may benefit your soul the most also will benefit your career just as richly. When we show up at work and are unconscious, stuck in the past, numbed out, or caught up in internal reactions, we rarely make decisions that benefit our careers.
The sad thing is we usually don't even know we lost out on all these rich opportunities. Often we end up feeling like hapless victims of cruel fate rather than victims of our unconsciousness.
When we attempt to spend a few more minutes being present at work every day we see that we often are the masters of our own fate by how we speak and act. When we merely act to defend our ego and self-worth, we often end up in circumstances that make us feel worthless and miserable.
For instance, imagine someone is rude to you in your workplace. You may pout, say something snarky, or act rude right back to the person. Think a minute about the outcome you will get with these choices. Will this result enhance your self-worth or career?
My clients start to chuckle when they see that the more they defend their egos in their workplaces the worse they feel. Yes, it is natural to want to tell people off. Yes, it isn't right that people do things that upset you, but what you do will determine whether they succeed.
When you are in the moment, it will occur to you that what people are doing to you is not a personal attack. These people act in these ways with everyone. When you pause in taking everything personally you can ask yourself how you can operate to promote your career instead of defending your ego.
Regardless of the common myth that you leave your emotions behind when you go to work, you don't. When you get into the moment you will have to tolerate feeling upset without acting badly. So much of the really cool opportunities at work only open up if you can act in wise, strategic ways no matter how upset you are.
Tomorrow, think of your workplace as being an emotional, spiritual and intellectual gym. Every day you have the opportunity to build the muscle to do the right thing for yourself regardless of how wrong others may act. You can also take the easy way out and never develop capacity for the heavy lifting required for the best job opportunities.
Think of the phenomenally hard jobs in the world: running a country, running a company, or changing the world in anyway. How effective do you think leaders can be if defending their ego is more important than doing their job well? Who would you chose for these positions?
Whatever you face Monday morning, you will face it more calmly, more creatively, and more effectively if you can spend just a few more minutes every day being in the moment. You won't always like what you find in the moment but what you find is the only way to steer your career to succeed.
The last word(s)
Q. Some of my career goals seem fitted for people smarter and better than me. I struggle at lot with thinking nobody will take me seriously if I try for what I want. Is there a way to go after goals that seem out of reach?
A. Yes, just pretend in public that you are good enough. Self-esteem changes only when you are willing to create what you believe you aren't good enough to have!
Daneen Skube, Ph.D., executive coach, trainer, therapist and speaker, also appears as the FOX Channel's "Workplace Guru" each Monday morning. She's the author of "Interpersonal Edge: Breakthrough Tools for Talking to Anyone, Anywhere, About Anything" (Hay House, 2006). You can contact Dr. Skube at www.interpersonaledge.com or 1420 NW Gilman Blvd., #2845, Issaquah, WA 98027.Sorry, no personal replies.
This column was printed in the February 8, 2015 - February 21, 2015 edition.