There is a great little book about life and living called ‘The Four Agreements’. It is a New York Times bestseller by the Toltec Indian teacher and spiritual guide by Don Miguel Ruiz. It features four simple agreements that if you practice them regularly, will improve your life and living. One of them, the fourth actually, is Always Do Your Best.
This agreement, which you make with yourself, allows all the other positive things that you do in life to become more effective and to reach their full potential so that you can live a happy and contented life. But you can also utilize this agreement to make the most of your time at work. And since you spend a third of your life there, the practices that you introduce at work will spill over to help you make the most of the rest of your life as well.
To always do your best at work you need to have a good attitude, be motivated to succeed, a personal plan for growth, and come to work ready and able to carry out your assignments to the best of your abilities.
Cultivating a Good Attitude
There is scientific research that positivity attracts abundance and success. So if you want to do your best at work you need to cultivate and practice bringing a positive attitude with you to work. You can create this energy by doing some very basic things like getting a good night’s sleep, especially during the work week, eating properly and not overindulging in alcohol. You can also do that by surrounding yourself with positive people and by bringing more positive ideas into your life. One of the greatest motivational books of all time is still ‘The Power of Positive Thinking’, by Norman Vincent Peale.
Fuel Our Own Success
We all have a little engine inside of us that propels us along the road in our career and our life. But we have to fuel this engine or it starts to seize up and suddenly seizes up and won’t move any more. We also have to lubricate the moving parts and we do this by finding ways to introduce new ideas and concepts that we can strive to learn. That engine is sometimes called motivation and while we can draw strength from outside to help us keep moving, 90 percent of it is about finding it inside ourselves. Spend a little time every day to find your own fuel so that you can always do your best.
Plan Your Own Growth
Just like motivation is an inside job, so too is the growth of your career. Yes, it is about opportunities coming open for you to take advantage of, but if you notice the people who get ahead quickly, they are standing at the door even before it opens. So get ready for these opportunities by developing your own growth plan at work. Think about where you want to be in five years and ten years and then put it down in writing. Next, put your paper plan into action. Take a course, get a transfer, recruit a coach or mentor, and get to work building your own success. Always do your best by doing everything you can to make success and growth possible.
Stop Judging Yourself
As Don Miguel says in his book, your best will differ depending on your physical and emotional state. You will and can do better when you are healthy versus when you are ill, and you can certainly do better when you are well-rested versus being hung-over. And doing your best does not mean that you over-do things or keep working all night in some desperate attempt to finally finish that overdue project. It means that you give your work your full focus and attention while you are working on it, and then you move on to the next thing and do the same. And when you leave that first piece you do not judge or second guess yourself, you acknowledge that you did your best, and you just move on.
Mike Martin is a writer and the author of Change the Things You Can: Dealing with Difficult People.
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