career satisfaction from within | Steve's Quest: The Animated Musical Web Series

My Recent Radio Appearance (Audio)

I’ve received some requests for a recording of my recent appearance on Seeing Beyond with Bonnie Coleen, and some people had difficulty downloading the recording from the radio station’s site.  So, I’m posting the file here to make sure you get the chance to hear it.

The interview is about bringing mindfulness practice into your work, finding your true calling in your career, my Career Satisfaction From Within Audio Course, and my upcoming projects.  I hope you enjoy it!

Download the Interview Here (27 mins.; MP3 file; right-click and select “Save As” to download)

My Recent Radio Appearance (Audio)

I’ve received some requests for a recording of my recent appearance on Seeing Beyond with Bonnie Coleen, and some people had difficulty downloading the recording from the radio station’s site.  So, I’m posting the file here to make sure you get the chance to hear it.

The interview is about bringing mindfulness practice into your work, finding your true calling in your career, my Career Satisfaction From Within Audio Course, and my upcoming projects.  I hope you enjoy it!

Download the Interview Here (27 mins.; MP3 file; right-click and select “Save As” to download)

My Recent Radio Appearance (Audio)

I’ve received some requests for a recording of my recent appearance on Seeing Beyond with Bonnie Coleen, and some people had difficulty downloading the recording from the radio station’s site.  So, I’m posting the file here to make sure you get the chance to hear it.

The interview is about bringing mindfulness practice into your work, finding your true calling in your career, my Career Satisfaction From Within Audio Course, and my upcoming projects.  I hope you enjoy it!

Download the Interview Here (27 mins.; MP3 file; right-click and select “Save As” to download)

My Recent Radio Appearance (Audio)

I’ve received some requests for a recording of my recent appearance on Seeing Beyond with Bonnie Coleen, and some people had difficulty downloading the recording from the radio station’s site.  So, I’m posting the file here to make sure you get the chance to hear it.

The interview is about bringing mindfulness practice into your work, finding your true calling in your career, my Career Satisfaction From Within Audio Course, and my upcoming projects.  I hope you enjoy it!

Download the Interview Here (27 mins.; MP3 file; right-click and select “Save As” to download)

My Recent Radio Appearance (Audio)

I’ve received some requests for a recording of my recent appearance on Seeing Beyond with Bonnie Coleen, and some people had difficulty downloading the recording from the radio station’s site.  So, I’m posting the file here to make sure you get the chance to hear it.

The interview is about bringing mindfulness practice into your work, finding your true calling in your career, my Career Satisfaction From Within Audio Course, and my upcoming projects.  I hope you enjoy it!

Download the Interview Here (27 mins.; MP3 file; right-click and select “Save As” to download)

My Recent Radio Appearance (Audio)

I’ve received some requests for a recording of my recent appearance on Seeing Beyond with Bonnie Coleen, and some people had difficulty downloading the recording from the radio station’s site.  So, I’m posting the file here to make sure you get the chance to hear it.

The interview is about bringing mindfulness practice into your work, finding your true calling in your career, my Career Satisfaction From Within Audio Course, and my upcoming projects.  I hope you enjoy it!

Download the Interview Here (27 mins.; MP3 file; right-click and select “Save As” to download)

Upcoming “Productive Mind And Heart” Talk

Because I’m excited about it, I wanted to share with you the flyer for the first in a series of public talks I’ll be giving called “The Productive Mind And Heart.”  This one will be held at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California on Wednesday, February 18.

I’ll be speaking about some of the ideas I discuss in my book, Productivity From Within, and the Career Satisfaction From Within Audio Course, for finding more satisfaction and productivity in your career from a spiritual perspective.  I have several more talks lined up in the future, plus an online teleclass, and I’ll be sending information about those out to my newsletter.  Enjoy!

090218-inner-productivity-workshop.png

Inner Productivity, Part Four: Some Exercises For Self-Listening

As I said in the last post in this series, our usual reaction to the distracting thoughts and sensations that come up while we’re working is to either fight them—shame ourselves for experiencing them—or flee from them—procrastinate or turn to some other task.  I suggested that, instead of treating those thoughts and feelings as enemies, we try seeing them as messages from our inner guru—the part of us that guides us toward truth, love and abundance in our lives—and look for the wisdom they offer us.

Of course, this is easier said than done.  Many of us have become so accustomed to ignoring our inner experience of working that we’ve forgotten what it’s like to listen to it.  We can see this in many of the habits we fall into to “take the edge off” our work.  Many of us find ourselves automatically turning on music, constantly checking e-mail, or even using alcohol or drugs to avoid the difficult feelings that arise while we’re working.

We can’t begin to transform our inner experience of work if we’re disconnected from it.  If persistent anger is keeping us from getting things done, for example, we can’t process that anger if we’re shutting it out.  In this post, I’ll suggest a few exercises we can use to get back in touch with our inner experience—to notice and acknowledge, without running from, the thoughts and emotions coming up in our work.  When we do this, we gain access to inspiration and joy we may not usually experience.

1.  Focus On What You Actually Enjoy In Life. To do this exercise, take a few minutes and give some thought to what you like doing and experiencing in your life, in any area of it.  You can write these down if it helps you collect your thoughts.  This may sound simple, but it’s trickier than it seems.

To understand what I mean, notice where your attention goes when you think about this question.  Does it immediately jump to structured activities such as your career, relationship, exercise routine, and so on, and what you enjoy about them?  Does it focus on what you’ve accomplished, and what others have praised you for doing?

Or can your mind operate outside those limitations, considering experiences that don’t fit into any of those categories?  For example, maybe you realize that you really like listening to birds sing, or the smell of newly-mowed grass—even though our society doesn’t generally consider those things as “important” as money, credentials, relationships and so on.

In other words, I think one effect of our social conditioning is that we tend to believe only certain parts of our lives are “important,” or necessary for a well-rounded existence.  We tune out aspects of our experience that don’t fit into that “important things” box.  The result is that we don’t fully allow ourselves to enjoy things like watching clouds, walking around barefoot, and so on—or, if we do admit to ourselves we like those things, we feel guilty or childish about it.

So the challenge here is to really admit to yourself what “a few of your favorite things” are, if you will, without censoring or judging yourself—even if they look “minor” or “trivial” by conventional standards.  The point is to help you become more aware of how you actually experience the world, without the filter of your cultural programming about what’s worthwhile and what isn’t.

2.  Notice How You “Take The Edge Off.” Like I said earlier, many of us find ourselves doing something to basically anesthetize ourselves at work—to ease the pain working seems to cause us.  This may be surfing the Web, constantly stopping to call friends, pacing around the room, or something else.  I encourage you to closely observe yourself, if only for a day, to get an idea of how you do this.

I suspect that, if you watch carefully, you’ll notice that you start doing these behaviors when certain thoughts and feelings arise.  Perhaps, for instance, you become aware that you immediately start instant messaging with friends when you begin feeling lonely at work.  As another example, maybe feelings of resentment around doing your job start to surface, and you find yourself quickly taking a Solitaire break.

In my book, Career Satisfaction From Within, I recommend an exercise involving gradually switching off the distractions in your life, to get more connected with the sensations you’re using those distractions to escape from.  Even if you don’t choose to do this, just noticing the ways you avoid facing your inner experience of work can teach you a lot about yourself and the areas where you have room to grow.

3.  Notice Your Different “Work” And “Life” Personalities. If you pay close attention, you may notice a shift in how you think and behave when you get into the office or whatever work setting you operate in.  It may be something obvious like a louder, more aggressive tone in your voice, or it may be subtle, like a slight droop in your shoulders or another change in how you carry yourself.

The reasons we find ourselves doing this vary.  Many of us believe that people in our work environment—maybe the boss, clients or our coworkers—expect us to talk and move in a certain way, and won’t respect us if we don’t.  Perhaps we think we’re expected to be tough, submissive, outgoing, or something else.  Or, maybe we’re just accustomed to acting a little differently when other people are around—we may feel threatened, for instance, and our bodies may be slightly more tense.

Although we may feel more secure adopting a different persona in our work, holding up that facade takes energy, and has us get tired more quickly.  This is one of the reasons many of us find work so draining.  If we have to create a whole new way of being for ourselves in addition to doing our tasks, it’s no surprise if we tend to procrastinate or have trouble staying motivated.

One perspective on this habit of changing our personalities for work purposes is that we do it because we want to avoid some aspect of how we experience our work.  Perhaps, for instance, we start feeling afraid when we’re around others, or around a specific kind of person—women, men, people higher up in our organization, or someone else.  To convince ourselves and others we don’t feel afraid, we walk around with an exaggeratedly erect posture and our fists clenched.

If you notice yourself creating a new persona for work purposes, I’m not going to tell you not to do it.  Whether you think it helps you to be a different person when you’re working is, of course, up to you.  Just consider that this habit may be causing you needless stress, and that by bringing more of yourself into the workplace you may get access to more of your drive and inspiration.

If you enjoyed this post, check out the others in this series:

Inner Productivity, Part I: 3 Keys To Developing “Inner Productivity”
Inner Productivity, Part II: Reuniting “Work” And “Life”
Inner Productivity, Part III: Listening To Ourselves
Inner Productivity, Part V: Breathing Through Our Fear

Career Satisfaction From Within

3d_3.png 

Message From The Author

Welcome to the Career Satisfaction From Within website.

Since the e-book came out in July 2008, the techniques and perspectives I use to help people find fulfillment in what they do have evolved.  In September 2009, I released a full-length book, Inner Productivity: A Mindful Path to Efficiency and Enjoyment in Your Work, that expresses these ideas more clearly and effectively than anything I’ve written before.  Because I want to make sure readers get the benefit of my most up-to-date thoughts on these issues, I’ve taken Career Satisfaction From Within down from this site and replaced it with information about my new book.

I’ve created a separate website that’s packed with reviews, videos, interviews and more about Inner Productivity, and I’d definitely recommend checking it out.   The book has received high acclaim so far.  David Allen, bestselling author of Getting Things Done, called it ” a great read and a useful guidebook for turning the daily grind into something much more interesting and engaging.”  If you prefer, you can also download the introduction to the book via the link below.

Download The Introduction (PDF file; right-click and select “Save As” to download)

Best,

Chris Edgar