go with purpose

Go with Purpose at Work and at Home

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Sometimes it seems our culture is built around the bottom line: What have you done for me lately? And that’s not only at work but sometimes at home, too. Everything is itemized, counted, evaluated, and stacked up for comparison. But purposeful, balanced people tend to experience more success. So go to work with purpose and come home the same way.

Research demonstrates that operating inside a positive framework is a better predictor of productivity than intense nose-to-the-grindstone effort or dog-eat-dog competition. People who make the choice to smile, for example, actually experience positive feelings and goodwill and project those positives onto those around them. Likewise, coming home in a positive frame of mind is positively correlated with family harmony. So go with purpose both at work and at home. Living by the following 5 truths not only will give you a balanced life but one that is more content and purposeful.

1. Joy begets joy.

People with a positive, purposeful attitude tend to bring a better experience to those around them. At home or work, you are a catalyst; when we choose to bring along a positive spirit, it lifts everyone’s game. Make a game out of this and take note of people you effectively bring around via a smile or by simply refusing to be cynical. Start small, maybe target one person, and then let it grow.

2. People with a balanced life are more effective at work and at home.

Nose-to-the-grindstone people burn out quickly, and they also self-sabotage relationships. Balancing work with family enriches both experiences. Invite a nose-to-the-grindstone colleague to a casual lunch; launch a birthday card initiative in your office; put your cell phone in the drawer and invite your spouse for a long after-dinner walk. Changing yourself will cause you to be a catalyst for change in others. If failure has been your constant companion, disengaging from such an obviously ineffective model (unbalanced, workaholic, “no life”) could be the exact jolt you need—in career and relationships both.

3. People who walk in the door with a sense of purpose run into less opposition.

It’s as if we telegraph positive outcomes when we walk into a situation purposing cooperation, success, and belief. When you park in your driveway at the end of the workday, visualize offering words of affirmation to your spouse and positive interactions with your children, even before you walk in the door. In other words, purpose family harmony, expect positive interactions, and deliver words of affirmation and peace.

4. Positive intention is a leadership initiative.

Effective leaders don’t push, threaten, or bully; they invite.

Effective leaders don’t push, threaten, or bully; they invite. There is little that is more effective than walking into the office or the front door at home purposefully willing ourselves to be leaders in terms of cooperation and resolve. Be a leader by modeling listening, concern, encouragement, and belief. At home, don’t think about what she should have said/done/apologized for; instead, be the man who demonstrates reconciling love.

5. Choose contentment rather than waiting for it to choose you.

The first step is to recognize that contentment, balance, and living with purpose are all electives. Being proactive is always something we all can choose to do. I’ll invest more in relationships after I’ve got this next promotion won’t hack it. The man who is giving, invested in his family, and actively choosing balance will have more assets to bring to the relationship and the job.

Sound off: How do you find purpose in your everyday life?

Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What are three positive things that happened today?”