Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Monday, October 7, 2013
Life Is Like A Cup of Coffee...
Ever wondered why most people say that they are not happy in their current job? According to a Mercer survey of 30,000 workers worldwide, between 28% and 56% of employees in 17 spots around the globe wanted to leave their jobs. According to a Right Management survey between April 16 and May 15, 44% of the participants indicated that they were totally unsatisfied with their jobs while 21% said that they were somewhat unsatisfied with their jobs. That is a staggering 65% of unhappy employees. This should ring alarm bells to employers, as a demotivated workforce means lower productivity and poorer service. Something is wrong with this picture!
These surveys only mention the current workforce and do not reflect the unemployed, job seekers, college students and graduates that must still enter the workforce. With the current economic stress around the globe forcing employers to rather look for part time employment rather than full time employment, this does not look bright for the world of employment opportunities in the near future.
With this in mind, the question that immediately comes to mind is whether there are any solutions to this very concerning trend.
The answer in my own mind is that there are certain things we can do as individuals to better educate and equip ourselves in order to penetrate the world of work with confidence and surety. Bob Dickie, President of Crown Financial Ministries, wrote a very insightful ARTICLE in Fox news recently explaining the new norm in terms of the world of work and how to prepare oneself to find success in an uncertain world.
Over the next few blog posts, I would like to address a way to better understand and position one for entering the world of work with hope.
How does your coffee taste?
I am a coffee drinker. I love filtered coffee and through the years I have tried to get to the right combination of ground coffee and water in order to produce the perfect cup of coffee. I failed many times to produce the perfect cup however. I either added too much coffee and to little water, or too much water and to little coffee. This always ended in two different tastes, namely extremely bitter or terribly weak!
As I tried to perfect the process of coffee making, it dawned on me that life could be compared to a cup of coffee. Life could be bitter, weak or what we always seek…the perfect cup! It must smell and taste just right. Unfortunately that is not the norm. People keep trying and testing to find that balance where their coffee tastes just right! I realized that it is all in the combination of coffee and water. Whatever goes into the filter is what will come out in the cup.
Life as we experience it is a result of the input that has come into our mixing filters. The result is what we experience on a daily basis in terms of how we see and experience the world around us.
I realized that this has to do with the way my character has been formed from birth to the present. I am experiencing either bitter, weak or fantastic coffee on a daily basis! The age old Nature versus Nurture debate comes to mind and frankly, I do not want to enter that debate at all. What I will say about it is that both nature and nurture play a significant role in my development as a person and “yes” in the taste of my cup of coffee.
At birth I have a genetic inheritance in my personally that Geneticists tell me has approximately 30% influence in my personality. This can be traced 4 generations back. I am also told that personality changes at most 1% over a period of 80 years. As I pondered on these observations and facts, I started asking the question, “If I have approximately 30% inherited personality traits and I am not going to change in my personality over my lifetime, then where does the other 70% come from?” Most people will say that it will be formed through influence in my life as I grow up, but the problem I have with that statement is that personality doesn’t change and at what point does my personality decide that it has grown enough? You see, I realized that the influence from outside myself builds and develop my character, but my personality still remains and has done so from birth. I am not going to attempt to answer the 70% question, other than to suggest that according to me it could only come from the giver of life.
As I started thinking about Character (from the outside in) and Personality (from the inside out) I realized its importance in my work life. We so often head into a direction that feels right, or looks exciting. We end up studying in that direction and enter the work market in those fields, only to realize a year or two later that we are miserable. How did this happen? Well, I come back to my coffee filter example. Just because you made coffee, doesn't mean that it going to taste perfect. We so often mix the wrong quantities together expecting to experience a great fulfilling taste.
Just as a person has a personality, so too does a certain job. What happens to people is that they enter the world of work in a specific job and soon the person’s and job’s personalities will either gel together, or will they will clash. As I learn about the fact that personalities don’t change more than 1%, I realized that the person or job will not change in their personalities either. What normally happens is that the person will have to work very hard in their character to motivate themselves every day to endure. Every day they pray for strength, feed off the encouraging word of family and colleagues or read and repeat positive references. This only helps till 11 am. The rest of the day becomes a drag till finally you are saved from the torture, only to go through the same routine the following day.
The real sad part is that we spend plus minus 60% of our waking time at work. If we enter the other 40% waking time with only 10 to 50% work fulfillment, it will have a negative effect on the way we spend that remaining 40% waking time. This is where most people struggle. They overdo it totally by hanging out in certain places that might not be the healthiest alternatives, or they become couch potatoes feeling sorry for themselves. This will not just affect your own life, but also those that do life with you. Your work fulfillment has a direct influence on your relationships with those closes to you as well as with those around you.
I would like to show you in next week’s blog how to get the perfect mix regarding filtering your life to taste like a perfect cup of coffee.