Work would be a lot more pleasant if we can see it as an opportunity to self-express and grow all the way — in terms of what we can give to it much more than what we get from it. Whenever an opportunity comes at your job to fulfil a task or optimize performance, it is always an opportunity to build character that will be much needed in the course of life’s journey.
Your real job in life is self-development. As you build a career, you gradually define your character. Most people worry about what their salary or position will be in the future, but a more valid question should be, “What qualities do you want to have in five years?” Your career is the canvas on which you will create that person. Here are 7 ways to build your character and career alongside each other.
- Review Your Goals
Today, take time to review your goals. Step back from your daily routine and see life as a whole. Ask yourself these questions: “What do I really want in my life? Why have I chosen this particular job? How does my career relate to my deeper goals, to my personal fulfillment?”
Life’s goals can be attained only after they have been identified, therefore, take a few minutes to write down what is most important to you. Knowing what you want from life can help you be more effective in your career. Once you know your priorities, and have been able to set them, you are on your way to a truly successful life.
- Work Hard
There is no substitute for plain hard work. Lazy people do not succeed, nor are they happy, because both success and happiness require energy. Doing your job without intensity is a formula for failure. Edison said, “Genius is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration.” If you train yourself to break through resistance points, the inner temptation to give up, you’ll find new strength flowing into you — a kind of second wind. One way to be a winner is to put energy into everything you do, even small tasks like responding to emails promptly.
Channeling your energy rightly is more a matter of focus than of effort. Tension just introduces friction into the system, so if you learn to relax, you’ll be more effective.
- Build Integrity
If there is a single quality that our society needs today, it is integrity. The business world, especially is crippled by a lack of it. Yet, virtue is personal — it must begin with you. Don’t sacrifice your integrity for a temporary benefit, because how you work will eventually define who you are. Never, ever lie, cheat or intentionally hurt others in the line of your duty. Loyalty to your employer is important; even more important is loyalty to honesty itself.When it is difficult to know what course to take, always choose the course that allows you to be a better human being.
- Take Responsibility
The most prized workers in any company are those who can get the job done. Henry Ford valued responsibility above all else, always promoting those who expressed this rare quality. Accepting responsibility requires inner strength. Once you accept an obligation, be willing to move mountains to accomplish it! Never try to shift your responsibility to someone else. This is your true act of strength.
- Have Some Patience and Practice Perseverance
No career can be successful without patience and perseverance. To achieve results, you need to accept the natural rhythms of people and projects. Impatience simply adds tension, not efficiency.
The active side of patience is perseverance, which is required in all large projects. Discipline yourself to stay with a task until it is finished, even if it takes great will power. In the end, all obstacles will crumble when faced with patience and determination. In working with others, patience can be desfined as the difference between making friends and creating enemies. Accept people as they are, not as you wish them to be. When you support others with patience and faith in their potential, you open the door for miracles to happen; and then you become a genius in the eyes of the world, only because you encouraged your team.
- Beware of The Law of Reciprocity
One of the fundamental laws of the universe is the Law of Reciprocity, known as “karma” in the teachings of the East. The law says that life reflects back to us the kind of energy we put out, just as a mirror reflects back the color and intensity of the light it receives. Give love, kindness, and compassion, and the world will return all these to you. Build your career upon a ruthless disregard of others, and the universe will mirror same back to you.
Once we understand this principle, the way we perform our work is more important than what we achieve. Our most important job is to become the kind of person we want to be. Our career is simply a means to that end. It is not so important to please others, but it is vital to follow our own course to achieve our personal goals.
- Have Fun
Life is a quest for happiness. It is important that we find enjoyment in our work since it takes up such a large part of the day. A positive and happy attitude makes our minds and bodies function better, and makes us much more effective at our job. Laughter has been found to be a great healer. Sometimes we just need to sit back and have a good belly laugh at life. True joy comes, not from circumstances, but from our very nature.
Stop occasionally, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and decide to be happy. A positive outlook creates positive magnetism, which elevates everyone around you. Especially when you are down, try to associate more with those who instinctively live with a light consciousness. Life is too short — and the workday too long — not to fill it with fun.
As you build a career, it’s very helpful to step back periodically and evaluate the kind of person you are becoming.