Wow! Can you believe it is already June?
As each month has ticked by this year, I think, didn’t we just start that month? Now into the half of 2014, I have been asking myself this week how did we get to June 2014, and I feel as though I haven’t accomplished a thing. And the answer I continue to reflect back on: complacency.
Yes, I owned up to it.
The reality of the situation is I am comfortable with what I am doing, but honestly I am not happy with the results or exactly what I am doing. Don’t get me wrong, the results are not bad, but I am never good with just the status quo.
Reflecting on how I got here, I have come to the realization that it was easy to get in the groove of the “known” or what I am good at since I am blocking and tackling right now coming into a new organization. However, I have to find a method to continue to keep myself challenged so my work does not continue to be complacent.
So, I put pen to paper and came up with some tips that I am going to strive for that may also work for you.
Challenge Even the Good
My philosophy has never been that I am going to accept “if it isn’t broke, then why fix it”; however, I have found myself to a degree not challenging enough. Part of this is the necessity of the game of workplace politics and the other is just a lack of motivation. But we have to push through for the betterment of the organization and employees.
What to Do: challenge yourself in each and every single situation to see how you can continue to make something better. Approach the situation from a positive and not a negative – negative thinking never gets you anywhere.
Develop Yourself Outside of What You Know
Many professionals have a tendency to develop themselves by focusing on content that falls within their realm of knowledge or experience. I get it, if you have a certification this is what you are going to do. Yet, when you continue to learn about the same thing of what you know, it can sometimes stifle your creativity.
What to Do: reach out and learn about something outside of what you know. Now, I am not saying you have to go and learn how to build something or conduct rocket science, but explore other avenues of research and thinking beyond your comfort zone. You would be surprised how much topics intertwine and can be integrated.
Developing yourself can also include exposing yourself to new environments. Go to a park on a Saturday afternoon and play chess. Take a painting class. Whatever it may be, do something that is different to get out of the typical groove.
Get a Mentor
I have been telling myself for many years that a mentor could be helpful for me, but I have never acted out on it. Truthfully, I don’t have a reason other than most of the time I just think, “I don’t have time for that”. The reality though, is I have to make the time for that.
What to Do: Mentors are an excellent resource to continue to challenge your actions, thoughts, whatever, while providing sound guidance. When it comes to selecting a mentor, don’t just select a random Tom walking down the street. Be mindful about who you want to be your mentor. Here are some great tips when seeking a mentor.