As we are a week into the season of Lent which, if you’re not familiar with, is when some religions fast, pray and repent for the 40 days before Easter. Typically, one will either give something up that is difficult for them, such as eating candy or smoking, while others will do more, such as donate to charities, volunteer or be nicer to others.
This had me thinking that the premise behind this observance can relate to one’s career (or personal life) and how you can follow your own “lenten” journey. Now would be a good time to stop doing something that is detrimental to your career, such as coming in late or procrastinating on tasks. These types of activities not only hold you back from being a good performer and getting the work done, but they also will get you noticed – and not in a good way. Think of how much better you would feel if you stopped behaviors that have frustrated you (you’ve noticed) and created rituals in order to perform at your best.
On the other hand, why not look to make a commitment to do more, such as to be fully present in your work, to complement others you work with or get to know them better, or even smiling more. Being and doing more sets a different tone (than giving up) but it ultimately leads to bringing out more of your skills, talents and more of who you are, while thinking of others and your relationship to them. In the workplace, these types of actions can create more positive interactions that will ultimately lead to higher performance and more job satisfaction. You can whistle while you work versus feeling miserable.
I challenge you to choose one: give up or do more – for the next 32 days and see your results. Either way, you can’t lose.