Faith Action Item for the Workplace

Girl happy on laptop workColossians 3:23 tells us: “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people”

If you believe Colossians 3:23 and put those instructions into practice, wouldn’t that perspective change how you approach your job, the people you interact with at work, and your attitude towards your boss?

Faith in the workplace can be demonstrated when we follow God’s Word and act on it each day. Let’s put our efforts into working for the Lord and not for man.   Honor your boss and your employer by doing your job well, each and every.  More importantly, you’ll be honoring God.

Give this a try at your workplace over the next week and see how things change.

HAVE YOU READ?

I Am Not a Syndrome – My Name is Simon

This is the gripping and moving story of a baby diagnosed with Trisomy 18, a genetic disorder in which a person has a third copy of material from chromosome 18.  “I Am Not a Syndrome – My Name is Simon” by Trisomy mom Sheryl Crosier details the struggle of her son Simon from the early stages of pregnancy to his life here on earth for 88 1/2 days…  read on about Simon.

5 Truths: Part 4, Highly successful people are not hopeful…they are optimistic.

by James Hale, author of “Getting Seen”

You thought “hope” and “optimism” were the same? Just smile. They are not!

Oh, yes, they do have definite similarities, and in casual usage they are thought of as synonyms. After all, both hope and optimism are considered powerful emotions based on belief. Both anticipate a positive outcome for a situation. Both feed a desire for the future. But the similarity stops there.

Hope is passive; optimism is active. According to Dr. Emmett Miller, hope has an element of desire—we hope for things we want to happen and what we hope for is usually possible. (I hope Johnny gets the job.) Optimism has more of an element of confidence—we believe good will come from the situation, we believe good with triumph over evil in the end, or that our innate strengths will carry us through. (I know things will be okay even if Johnny doesn’t get this job.)

Optimism knows that things will be okay regardless of the outcome. If “hope” and “faith” had a baby, it would be named “optimism.”

Like gasoline fuels a car, optimism fuels our ability to solve problems and find creative solutions to life’s puzzles.

So how does this affect your job search? Hope has a trap. That trap is passivity. People who misuse hope feel they have no personal control over a situation. People who draw energy from hoping for success often fail to take complete action because they rely instead on simply wishing for the best. They trust that hope will fill in the voids from their limited efforts. They sometimes then simply accept their lot in life and do not take action to help themselves … even when they could.

Optimism is very different. The strength of optimism is that not only does it keep us moving toward the things we desire, it also enables us to let go of the situation if our desired outcome is not realized. Without this motion toward a positive outcome and the ability to let go when reality falls short of our dreams, we tend towards depression, despair, apathy, and helplessness. We give up.

But there is more. Like gasoline fuels a car, optimism fuels our ability to solve problems and find creative solutions to life’s puzzles. When your career path gets steep and rough—when you have those extended periods when no one returns your calls or responds to your resume—optimism helps you see the footholds and the shortcuts. If you cultivate optimism in a way that keeps you in action and keeps you focused on what you can do to influence the outcomes you desire, success will be achieved.

When something bad happens to you, like a layoff or struggles in the job search, it will always do one of three things to you:

  • It will define you, so that you identify yourself by the condition (I am unemployed).
  • It will destroy you (by creating bad habits like isolating yourself from those closest to you)
  • It will feed you power and strengthen you.

People who are naturally optimistic are masters of the latter.  If you are not naturally optimistic, here is a checklist on optimism from Optimist International. See where you are succeeding and where you might improve:

 To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.

 To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.

 To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.

 To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.

 To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best.

 To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.

 To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.

 To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.

 To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.

Truths # 2 of 5: You CANNOT be Anything You Want to in Life.

by James Hale,

No, you cannot be anything you want to be in life.

That is a lie told by well-meaning parents who want their kids to dream big and achieve greatness.  The reality is there are limits and restrictions on your potential.  One of these limitations is your natural skills and talents.  There are some skills—perhaps reading or math or caring for others or an ability to focus quietly—that come easy to you.  Maybe you have chosen to work on refining these natural gifts into perfected talents, or maybe you are like most of us and fallen a little short in this effort.  Regardless, these seeds must be watered and nourished if they are to grow.  Get to work perfecting your natural gifts.

That’s your natural gifts.  But there are other skills that are not as natural for you.  These areas can limit your options in choosing a career, and they can be your downfall in the job search.  For example, the brilliant yet introverted mathematician who cannot deal with people makes a lousy teacher, if he does not deal with his shortcoming.  Similarly, the extroverted people-person who lacks the discipline to master mathematics also becomes a lousy teacher, if he does not try to control skills that do not come naturally.  Recognize that you are set free by your natural skills, but limited by those that are not as developed in you.

But raw skill is not the only variable affecting your ability to choose your profession.  You are also either empowered or restricted by your finances, your network of support from family and friends, and the unique opportunities that come your way every day.  You cannot simple “will” your way into a job by raw desire.  And no matter how hard you work at achieving career goals, some will simply stay beyond your grasp.  When I was in school at Western Kentucky University I worked hard to be the Geologist Senior of the Year.  I was a lab assistant, I volunteered to help teachers outside of class, I tutored people who were struggling in geology, and I studied nightly into the wee hours.  I got the highest grades in the class on nearly all my tests … and I came in second.  Similarly, everyday thousands of talented, brilliantly gifted kids work tirelessly to become the next music superstar … but only one person can hold this spot.  You must live YOUR life, recognizing that you will not have the opportunities provided to others.

James Hale is the author of "Quiet Spaces"

James Hale is the author of "Quiet Spaces"

You cannot be anything you want to in life … but the reality is even better.  You have been placed on earth for a unique purpose … with unique skills  … at a unique place … at a unique time.  You cannot be anything, but you can be one thing better than anyone else.  Better than anyone!  That’s because you have a truly unique skill set and completely unique opportunities that no one else will have.  Just like you may not be able to be the next President of the United States, the next president cannot be you … even if he or she tried.  The opportunities come your way every day, but they are usually subtle and you have to look carefully for them.  They reside in the manager you walk by every day, but never talk to.  The back-to-school scholarship you never looked for on the web.  The on-line degree taught by the university half-way around the world. The article in the newspaper about a community problem.  Or the difficulties that a friend or coworker is facing.

Look for YOUR opportunities.  YOU can serve YOUR purpose like no one else because of the unique combinations of abilities you have, the unique lessons your life experiences have taught you, and the unique opportunities that will be presented to you and no one else.  Successful people focus on the short-term opportunities around them, rather than the vague dreams that can never be realized.

Coming up next: Truth 3:  highly successful people have help.