by Emma Sue Prince
We live and work in a world where uncertainty and change have become the norm. Even though we have all the information we could possibly want or need at our fingertips, our inability to manage its constant flow into our Smartphones and brains renders it useless. It seems as if we are constantly distracted, overwhelmed and unhappy.
But there are skills that we each have that really can help us to be happy right now. These skills need to become an essential part of our toolkit so that we are well equipped to prosper in our brave new world. We just need to tap into them and strengthen them. All 7 matter and all 7 overlap. In this exclusive series for Family Friendly Working, each week I’ll be looking at a different skill that you can immediately tap into and embrace. I promise you they make a huge difference to you personally, to how you work and to your family.
In a world where we are experiencing constant change and challenges and where most of us feel overloaded or stressed so much of the time, this may well sound easier said than done. There are ways that you CAN bring optimism into your every day and strengthen this skill.
Much of this is about building your own self-awareness over the longer term. That means being able to accurately assess a situation, being able to differentiate between facts and feelings and having a faith in your own ability to move forward constructively focusing on what you can do in any given situation.
Most of the time, especially when things are not going our way be it the economy or just that irritating person at work, we tend to place our energy into the very things we cannot control. And it is energy – because the more energy we place into those things, the more miserable we feel.
If we can get into the habit of focusing on the only thing we CAN control: our behaviour, closely followed by our thoughts and feelings, we can experience far more happiness. By doing this we actually often end up influencing our situation for the better. Yes, this is a skill you can nurture and build.
Of all the seven skills in this series, the three that overlap the most are optimism, being proactive and resilience. Strengthen any one of these three and the other two automatically get a boost too. Optimism is created by actions rather than feelings. You can also strengthen it daily through writing down what you are grateful for and reflecting, at the end of your day, the positive experiences within it.
Emma Sue Prince is author of “7 Skills for the Future”, published by Pearson Business, available now in all major bookstores and from Amazon. Her podcast 7 Skills for the Future is on ITunes and all podcasting platforms. Emma Sue Prince is a specialist in experiential learning and believes strongly that this methodology is key to developing life skills and soft skills as it is the only way to develop self-awareness, upon which all behavioural change is based. She delivers powerful workshops in this regard and does so with many different target groups including “closed” groups such as Muslim communities in Bangladesh and North Africa and diverse groups in the UK including lawyers, doctors and software engineers.
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