Your work is to discover your work, and then
with all of your heart to give yourself to it.
How do you typically approach your workday? Is it with great anticipation, vitality and excitement for what lies ahead? Or do you tend as many people do, to approach your workday tired, overwhelmed, drained and close to burning out? Would you be surprised to realize that these two approaches invariably determine how engaged you are and ultimately, lead to higher levels of achievement on the job.
It is almost as though right now you are standing in front of a crossroad; one sign reads: To life satisfaction and engagement, and the other sign indicates: To life discontentment and disengagement. We all know which road we’d take! Clearly, there aren’t any overt signs indicating your way; nevertheless the decision is there for you to make every day. Are you satisfied with your choice?
If you found yourself relating to the first choice, you’ll probably discover that Zest is one of your core strengths. You will still want to keep reading the tips offered so you can preserve this strength in the midst of challenges. If, however, you relate to the second choice, don’t despair. The tips offered will boost your Zest quotient enabling you to enjoy life more and experience higher levels of well-being and productivity at work.
What is a “just right” Zest focus?
At your best, you are feeling on top of the world, full of vitality as you meet your obligations working on projects with enthusiasm and excitement. When you are experiencing Zest, you recognize it by the sense of physical and psychological well-being it gives you. An attitude of Zest has you just plain feeling alive and optimistic. Moreover, it appears to be one of those contagious emotions. As Zest uplifts, you, in turn, you energize others!
What are some simple shifts you can make to prop up your Zest?
Take Action to Boost Your Well-being: Zest is associated with many desirable outcomes one of the most important is its link to psychological well-being. Psychological well-being, in turn, is a predictor of improved job performance and reduced turnover So if you are interested in upping the Zest factor in your life, try some of the suggestions below:
- Increase your levels of daily movement and activities.
- Spend time out in nature. It will revive your energy as your body responds to nature in a way that is similar to meditation.
- Take a catnap if you feel tired during the day or if you cannot nap, go to a quiet place and meditate for a few minutes.
- Get enough sleep. Make sure you go to bed at a consistent time—even on weekends.
- Avoid caffeine after a certain time of day if you know it will keep you awake.
- Intend to experience Zest and then notice what supports Zest for you.
- Avoid working too late.
- Unplug your electronics an hour or so before going to bed.
- Do something kind for someone at work or a friend or family member.
- Honor your time to connect with others.
- Discover what rejuvenates you and do it.
As a research conducted by Gander, Proyer, Ruch, and Wyss (2012) attests Zest is one of the four character strengths which predicts healthy and ambitious work behavior. By the way, for you managers out there, as an added bonus; Zest is also associated with better physical health, which means a reduction in absenteeism and of course, healthcare costs.
Be Vigilant: The chances are you will soon be overworked and running low on Zest if you are not:
- Taking good care of yourself;
- Getting enough sleep;
- Taking sufficient time to revitalize your energy.
As a manager, it is important for you to take care of the energy reserves of your employees. Research by Peterson and colleagues suggests increasing your employees’ physical activity is a method to boost zest, as well as their levels of hope. The Energy Project’s research reveals that something as easy as taking breaks every 90 minutes will result in:
- 30% higher levels of focus;
- 50% greater capacity to think creatively;
- 46% higher levels of health.
What does it look like when you take Zest too far?
While being passionate and excited is good, taken too far you’ll become an annoyance to others. Your drive and enthusiastic energy might even be experienced as overwhelming or intimidating to your colleagues and employees. Taken too far, those around you might disengage because at some level they believe they simply cannot keep up with you… and may not even want to!
Do you know your strengths?
If you have not satisfied your curiosity as yet, go here to take the free 15-minute VIA Survey * and receive your strengths profile.
Over the next 12 months, I invite you to get to know your strengths as well as discover some of the ways you can develop them. Choosing to do so will help you and your employees become more engaged, energized and happy at work. Keep your eyes open for the next email, which will focus on yet another particular strength from the VIA Survey with practical tips on how to use them effectively on the job.
Want to learn more? Want a little extra help? Let’s connect! It would be my pleasure to support you in beginning to live a life that is engaging, exciting and rewarding to YOU.
*The VIA Survey is available in several languages.