The importance of being happy at work is often overshadowed by our need to make money, our drive to beat the competition and our perceived obligation to satisfy others' high expectations.
Firstly, let's look at some Australian Statistics:
• 3 Million Australians are living with depression or anxiety
• 1 in 5 women in Australia will experience depression
• 1 in 2 women will experience anxiety
• Annual cost of mental illness in Australia is estimated at $14.9 billion
• This includes the cost of loss of productivity and labour force participation.
I'm an ordinary, hard-working woman and have climbed the corporate ladder vigorously. At 25 I was already earning a 6 figure salary & won every award along the way. At 26 I was managing employees 20 years my senior and hosted a business radio show on the side. My whole life up to this stage has just been: Go, go, go! But something lacked.
In less than 6 months I was enjoying a fulfilling, happy and more relaxed lifestyle. Here is a 3-step approach, which has inspired many of my executive clients to turn their lives around.
Step 1: Meditate
A professional recommended meditation as a starting point. The thought of being absolutely quiet and simply "be" without any Facebook news feeds or tweets to entertain me, seemed really boring. It made me feel uncomfortable at first, but I had to force myself to sit down and face the silence.
Meditation did not make me feel better instantly. It was not a quick fix, but in hindsight it has played a major role in my recovery. It's something I look forward to now as part of my daily routine.
Step 2: Articulate Your Wildest Dreams
I realized that I have never allowed myself to take a step back and figure out what I actually wanted. I did not have my own clear definition of what success looked like for me. Growing up in circumstances of poverty and violence followed by the cut-throat corporate world, I never allowed myself to dream. It would be considered unrealistic in my environment. It was only once I allowed myself to do more personal exploration that I uncovered what my personal deepest desires were. It was residing in my subconscious mind all along and until then, I had not giving any attention to it. I was not living in line with my core identity. I was living in line with the world's definition of success.
Step 3: Earn $1 by doing what you love
Earning money by doing what you love holds immense power. Although I was a highly paid professional, by merely earning my first $180 part-time doing what I love, I experienced an overwhelming taste of what life was supposed to be. Although this pay-check was minute, the mere exercise of pursuing my articulated dreams, gave me extreme sense of happiness and fulfillment. Whether it was $1 or $1000 - the amount was irrelevant. I was now, listening to my core intuition, embraced it and I stopped using excuses such as a lack of time. My part-time business grew and eventually, I did the unthinkable. I was able to leave my corporate career and build my business full-time. Only months ago I didn't even allow myself to think about it.
Here's to the Third Metric! Be the change.