I always thought that trees died in the winter and came back to life in spring. I’ve recently learned this isn’t true. The shedding of their leaves is just a tactic to survive the brutal winter environment. They are in a situation where they know they cannot thrive, so they shed their leaves letting go of all unnecessary strains on their energy. Then, as spring comes and days lengthen and warmth returns, so do little buds of life. Out of my front window, I have watched the process of a “popcorn tree” blossom over the last week. The once bare branches are now full of beautiful white flowers. It is amazing to see how nature brilliantly adjusts to its environment. When the climate is harsh, icy, and cold, plants maintain the minimum. When the environment is warm, and soil is rich with nutrients, they blossom.
Like trees and plants, our professional development is impacted by our environment. Where we differ is, we have the ability to change ours. Since our environment is created by the choices we make, here are a few tips to creating one that allows you to thrive.
Begin your day with positivity
The trajectory for our entire day starts with what we do right when we wake up. What are your first thoughts? What do you spend your time doing? Are you creating positivity? Making the decisions to proactively seek out a positive start to your day is like pouring nutrient packed soil prior to planting a seed. It gives you a foundation to root into and source from no matter what comes your way.
Protect your energy
When difficult things arise, staying in a positive state is not easy. It is a constant effort that requires ongoing attention, but it can be done. For example, we cannot control how other people drive during our commute, but we can make a choice to give all the terrible drivers out there the benefit of a doubt. I like to pretend that someone who cuts me off is rushing to a loved one. It softens my frustration with them and allows me to maintain my positive state. Or when we are around someone who is constantly negative, we cannot change how they behave, but we can prevent them from dragging us down. We can excuse ourselves from the conversation or change the subject.
Protecting our positive energy is worth the effort. Living and working in that mode creates the richest environment for our professional development.
Connect with co-workers
Economist put a price tag on relationships to see how valuable social connection was. They determined that if you have a friend that you see on a regular basis, it is like earning $100,000 MORE a year. Connecting with others increases our happiness, our health, and our energy level. Quickly catching up, laughing, or sharing your favorite new show can create the boost we need to maintain our high vibes.
As we go through our days, we can remember that the climate we create for ourselves matters for our professional development. We can live in an environment that allows us to merely survive, or we can create one that is prime for opportunity and growth It is time to bloom!