Listen to our podcast episode with this article's author, Tammy Robertson, and Leah Giesbrecht, communications specialist, CPABC. Part of our Coffee Chats with CPABC podcast series.
The other day as I was stopped at a red light, I watched as a young man trimmed the grass around a light post, missed half of it, and continued on. My first thought, “How could he do that? Leave half of the grass he was being paid to trim?”
And not because he wasn’t excelling at his job, but because – how could he work like that? Where was the satisfaction, the good feelings you get from looking at the finished product? And my second thought, “What is he thinking of, what is he feeling?” Perhaps, “Who cares, so what, why bother?” That must be exhausting, spending the whole day not caring.
Where do you get your pizzazz – that inner juice that makes you feel like your energy and effort matter? Today when I hear people say, “Whatever…” it gets me. It gets me because it matters that people care. I don’t care about what you care about. Care about something.
Especially now in the midst of a pandemic, we all have to stoke our inner fire and commit to doing our personal best, not just because it will help us to take care of one another, but also because our future health and livelihood depend upon it. So let’s look at some ways to find your own reasons. Your own reasons to care, which will help you gain energy and motivation along the way.
Do you need a September reboot?
Summer is coming to an end. Were you panic working – working frantically to protect your livelihood and/or prove your productivity – or did you get your fill of fun and relaxation? Are you ready to focus, push forward, and make things happen? For many people September signifies the beginning of a new season and a time of hard work and getting back to the grind.
So, do you need a September reboot? I know I do. There are so many reasons not to care. There are so many things that need fixing. It can be overwhelming. But listening to personal stories of hope and optimism reminds me again that people are resilient and that we can rise to any challenge. Luckily for many of us now, that challenge is just to refocus, find our own reasons to care about what we do, and show up and do some good work.
Juiced by that: 5 ways to rekindle your inner mojo
“Juiced by that” is a phrase I picked up from my daughter, Madison, who spent a summer selling car wax to make money for school. This was her company and team rallying cry. She learned some great lessons from her summer job. Teamwork. Fun. Grit. Perseverance. All things that can help you master the art of finding your inner mojo. So how do you get your mojo going and really show up?
Here are my thoughts:
1. Invest without being attached to an outcome
We are now at a time in history where we need positive role models. We long to see people doing the right thing, not because of politics, rewards, or to stoke their own ego, but because it serves the greater good for all. It requires real courage.
We often witness this in a crisis – floods and fires often bring out the best in people. Think of the possibilities if we were constantly guided by a simple powerful question, “What is needed now?” And did just that. As the challenges brought about by the pandemic continue, it is easy to wonder what difference our caring and energy will make. But it’s the only thing that ever has made a difference. It’s the coolest thing ever, seeing people who care. Even cooler – being someone who cares.
2. Stoke your enthusiasm
I believe everybody’s life is either a warning or a positive example. You’ve got to decide what you are going to be. Benjamin Franklin started and ended his day with these question: “What good will you do today?” and “What good did I do today?”
Not too complicated. If you think you are supposed to change the world, or even your friends, family, or work team … that’s too much. What if the real challenge is just this: Did I bring the best version of myself today? Micro-actions can make you feel better. Like getting all that grass.
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3. Care about what you care about
I keep learning from my daughters. Madison figured out a lot that summer when she was selling car wax. She laughingly called what she did “another day of selling personality.” Selling was the by-product of connecting with people. Being interested in people, their dogs, their babies, and how their day was going created a connection that made selling some car wax possible.
Why? People matter. When was the last time someone made you feel like you matter, or didn’t matter? Think about what happens next.
What do you really care about? What are your reasons? And when you get right down to it, what matters? Let that inform your day.
4. A call to inaction
What gets us through and what stokes our energy is often the promise of a good break and a chance to refuel. The end of summer is hard. If you are now feeling post-summer anxiety, don’t tell yourself it’s all over and it’s back to the grind with no breaks in sight. There will be good times ahead.
Decide to take back your time. Pay attention. Commit to some simple shifts that will provide needed peace and ease. Certain brief experiences can jolt us, elevate us, and change us. Make room for them. Take one weekday off a month. Go on a road trip, sit at home and read a book, or indulge in a chill day. Use your vacation days. Go for a stroll. Get outside. Use your lunch hours. Start a photo journal to capture a moment a day. Take in the beauty of fall. Use your time. It’s all in the moments.
5. Commit to fun every day. Seriously.
Trade your life’s expectations for appreciation and the world changes instantly. It’s not all roaring laughter, but real joy can be felt regularly if you are open to it. Go through your day with a flexible mindset and look for the opportunities for fun. A simple question, asked often, can make all the difference: “What if this was fun?” C’mon. We all need more lightness. There are fun times ahead. Juiced by that!
Tammy Robertson has over 25 years of experience working with CPA’s from BC to NL, providing leadership and personal development seminars and keynotes at conferences and training days. As a life and leadership coach to leaders both in industry and public practice, author and professional speaker, Tammy inspires and challenges you to step into your true potential. Learn more from her at CPABC’s newly launched Resilient Leadership Certificate Program.