Last week I wrote about increasing the awesome vs. decreasing the suck and how I think that the only way to decrease what sucks is by focusing on what's awesome. Since then I've been thinking a lot about how to increase the awesome in my work life--what is it that we can do to bring the awesome?
Here are three tips I came up with from noticing my own practice. . .
1. Tune into the emotions of Awesome.
The surest route to the Awesome, I'm finding, is to tune into my emotions. Whenever I feel curious, inspired, energized, hopeful, engaged, connected, and/or like I'm having fun, I know I'm accessing the Awesome. When I feel unmotivated, frustrated, irritated or apathetic, I'm most definitely living in the Suck.
Each day I'm trying to begin with attuning myself to the feelings I want to have during my work day, reminding myself about the feelings of the Awesome. I also set the intention of trying to notice my Awesome emotions throughout my day, acknowledging them to myself and others.
It's been especially interesting to acknowledge a shift in energy to other people. They immediately know what I'm talking about and become even more energized, tuning into their own emotions of the Awesome and wanting more of that. I'm trying to be more purposeful in in doing this, as I find that this acknowledgement increases my chances of having Awesome converations (see below).
2. Ask Awesome Questions
In the past 6 months, I've become increasingly interested in the power of questions to move me and the people I work with toward the Awesome. I'm firmly convinced that the questions we ask are at least as important as the answers. And I've found that asking Awesome questions actually is part of what increases our connection to and feelings of the Awesome.
Some of the questions that have been working for me:
- Why do I care about this situation? This reconnects me to purpose which connects me to Awesome.
- What possibilities and learning do I see? Seeing challenges and problems leads me to the Suck. When I look at possibilities and learning, I find the Awesome.
- What do I want more of? When I tune into the emotions of the Awesome, I also notice what I'm doing at the time. Who am I with? What is happening? If possible, I will try to tune into the moment when the energy shifts from the Suck to the Awesome. Then I try to figure out how I can get more of whatever it was that created the Awesome. How can I inject it going forward?
- If success was completely guaranteed, what bold steps would I take? This may be the surest route to the Awesome. Usually I find that what is keeping me in the Suck isn't that I don't know what to do. It's that I'm afraid to do it. Or at least to try. So asking this question leads me to take the bold steps. . . most of the time.
I've also been trying to find the "big questions" underneath the smaller ones. What is the REAL quest that I am on? I look for the forest, not the trees and often this leads me back to the Awesome.
3. Have Awesome Conversations
Although the Awesome can sometimes be a solitary pursuit, most of the time it is not. Even if I'm going to do the work alone, having the right conversations can help me better articulate my vision of the Awesome. They can also help me connect to people and resources that help make the Awesome happen.
This year is my year of conversation and I'm finding that the more I seek out and lean into creating Awesome conversations, the better I feel and the better my work is.
To me, the hallmark of an Awesome conversation is that it generates Awesome emotions. If I'm feeling the energy of inspiration, hope, and possibility, then I know I'm having a conversation that will lead to the Awesome. If I'm feeling like I want to stab my own eye out, I know I'm mired in a conversation that supports the Suck.
Awesome conversations mean that I'm talking about what really matters. I'm engaging with the Awesome questions and I'm noticing and acknowledging the awesome emotions. Most importantly, I'm acting as a host, creating a space for the Awesomeness to occur, being open to what happens and giving up my pre-conceived ideas of how things should go.
I have found that some people are more amenable to the Awesome conversation than others. While I believe that everyone wants to have Awesome conversations, I'm not as skillful as I'd like to be in drawing people into those if they aren't at least halfway there. That's actually one of the areas I want to work on--how to help people who are really stuck in the Suck to find and access the Awesome.
So these are my 3 tips for increasing the Awesome. What are you doing to increase the Awesome at work?