Waiting for the T the other day my eyes were drawn to this ad. It made me stop and think “Ya oddly enough, these days I have been given the gift of being able to mostly do what I love every day.” I know that I have thought this over the past several months since my career shift but sometimes it takes an ad to jump out at you to make you stop and reflect. I don’t know about you but I have been having a lot of these moments lately. The Universe seems to be handing me unlimited opportunities for reflection. If you are a follower of astrology, you know that Uranus and Pluto have been in a T square which is pushing all of us to face what has been hidden and force us into our truth. It is said that those who are not living their truth will be having a rough time in the coming month. Shifting into this place of embracing what I love was definitely not easy. It didn’t come in the way I expected and it didn’t even look like I wanted it to. See that’s the thing about believing in spirit is that we come to realize that we often get just what we need and if we are lucky we will soon want it to. But everything in life can’t be about hopping and skipping towards the sunset, right? There are things that we all wish we didn’t have to do. Like for instance, I wish that I didn’t have to clean up the mess I made this week in my apartment. I would much rather be doing other things (in fact I am:) than doing that. But doing that will make me feel so much better. So do I must. We don’t want to pay bills but we do because we like the peace of mind and luxury of stability that it brings. Martin Seligman states in his book “Authentic Happiness” that the key to happiness within these mundane and maybe sometimes painful activities is finding the win-win. How can we do what we love and love what we do. Or at least love parts of what we do. Seligman speaks about the fact that there is a win-win in every situation. He looks at fields where there is the least amount of happiness such as with lawyers, He found in the fields where there is the highest burnout it was because people often were working within a paradigm of win-lose so the stakes were very high to potentially feel like a failure. He states that the research showed that happiness increased when people were able to take the framework of their job and increase the amount of opportunity for win-win situations. Interesting huh? Made me ponder why this would be.
During the last four months of us meeting for tea I have watched A LOT of videos and read a lot of books and articles on the subject of happiness, love, positivity, possibility and basically anything that has anything to do with seeing the light and getting out of the muck. I have learned about the science behind it all, the mess that we have been in globally and the need for internal shifts to change the state of the external. In the documentary “I AM” Tom Shadyac discusses the focus our nation has had on greed and getting ahead. There is much written about the “hedonistic treadmill” we have all been on that tells us that happiness is in material goods and wealth so keep on working until you drop. We are never spoken to about the fact that we should actually LIKE what we are doing. The focus is instead on getting ahead and having a “good job” whatever that means. These days it’s been about having A job since the economy tanked. Since we spend most of our time at work, if we don’t like it well we pretty much don’t like our life. The concept of finding the win-win in situations is finding the route back not only to your heart but to your core values. If you don’t feel good about what you are doing chances are what you are doing is COUNTER INTUITIVE to your core belief system. It’s like that feeling you get when you don’t really want to go to a gathering or obligation but you go anyway. You don’t want to be there so most likely you don’t have a good time. Well this is what you are doing every day if you can not find the win win in your career. The interesting thing about living a life that is not connected to your core values is that you body knows this to be true. You may choose to cognitively not focus on it. Maybe even shove it under the rug but your body knows. And it’s doesn’t like it. This is why it’s harder to get out of bed to go there, why your stomach may be in knots, your muscles tense and your attitude and mood poor. It’s exactly like what I spoke about in our chat Change Gonna Come you have one foot on the brake and one foot on the gas and you are expending all of your energy just trying to maintain. Oh do I know how that one feels, for sure! So how do you find the win win? We all have to make a living right? And I know when the bills are paid there is a sense of security I do enjoy.
Well the win win is any place in any moment where you are acting in line with your core values as well as being compassionate. The win win doesn’t come when you give your co worker or boss a piece of your mind because you don’t like what they are doing or saying. That is not compassionate and will definitely not lead to a win win. But it may be when you access your inner wisdom, take a deep breath and mindfully choose your words to describe your thoughts and how you feel. This has high potential to become a win win. I am not a politics kind of person that is why I am here with you all creating my own adventure. But I will say working for others in institutions has helped me practice loving kindness, learn how to better manage my emotions, shrink my ego and learn from others. In the past my words and actions took one extreme or the other. These days I practice off the mat to bring the concepts of mindfulness and yoga into my interactions with others. This helps me to be a strong advocate for myself as well as respect others. Finding the win win may not feel like an easy experiment but the more opportunities you see to be connected to your core values, the better you will feel emotionally, physically and spiritually. We all have to find ways of getting along and taking care of ourselves. What I learned along that way that I can pass on to you is how to take care of ALL of me. There were ways in which I was being taken care of in certain areas but it wasn’t until I paid more attention to being in line with my core that I began to see the opportunity for win win all over the place.
What choices can you make to begin to increase your win win opportunities?