Personal Development At Work

Self-Awareness 101 Episode 31: Personal Development At Work

In this episode Willard discusses the opportunity for applying personal development at work. Between the amount of time we spend at work, the people we interact with and the projects that we are working on, there is always an opportunity to practice what we are learning.

< EP 30: Basic Meditation Exercises                              EP 32: Toxic Shame > 

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Today, we're going to discuss personal development at work.

Tonight when Jerry and I were getting ready to shoot we were discussing how we are now a little over 7 months into the Self-Awareness 101 series, that is if you start the count by when we released the very first episode on YouTube. And for an introductory series of self awareness, we were talking about how we have covered a lot of topics in that time. As Jerry and I were looking back over topics that we have covered, one of the things that came up was that a lot of times people learn great skills, but only apply them when it is safe. They can learn these skills or strategies by going to a seminar, or reading a book or from watching a series like this; and it is very easy to practice those skills when you are sitting there focusing on learning them or around others who are studying the same material. But for many people, once you leave that learning environment or leave that support system and get back into your regular environment, it is just as easy to forget those skills you were working on.

So what I wanted to talk about today is applying the things that you've learned by focusing on personal development at work. I believe that work is probably one of the greatest training grounds for really integrating the things that we have learned. I say that because, number one, many of us spend more than 40 hours a week at our jobs. We also have every kind of stimulus that creates an opportunity to focus on personal development at work when we are there. We have superiors that we have to deal with, and we've got subordinates that we have to deal with. We have people that we connect with and resonate with, and we've got people who get under our skin just from the sound of their voice. We've got projects that have deadlines, we have goals, we have every opportunity possible to apply the things that we've learned. And the challenge is that many times we are so conditioned in regard to how we work in that environment, that we forget to bring these skills to work with us. There are actually a lot of times where our work environment is totally counter productive and counter conducive to the skills that we have been working on.

As many of you who have been following the series know, my introduction to the journey of personal development and self-awareness was, in essence. immersion by spending almost two months in a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center. I don't know if I've shared this in the past, but the day that I got out of rehab I had to go back to work. And at that time, my profession was as a musician and where I worked was in bars. So I was walking out of the safest and the most supportive environment in the world and going into the most toxic environment possible based on my new lifestyle. I was going from one end of the spectrum to the other in literally three to four hours; so I really had to prepare myself on how I was going to bring all these skills, all these new belief systems and all these new approaches to living into my work environment.

Luckily there were some specific things that I had learned while I was in the rehab that allowed me to do just that. First, I would actually make sure that on my way to the club that I would mentally prepare myself by saying, "Okay, I am going to look for opportunities tonight to practice this one specific skill." By preparing myself mentally and committing to working on that skill, my focus would be on that skill already when I walked into the club. Because I had set my mind in motion in a positive way, I would already be looking for opportunities on how I could bring that one skill, that new part of myself into that environment.

There were some other things that I did if I would have situations happening that were making it hard for me to stay focused on my growth. As an example, when I would have a break from being on stage I would go back into the dressing room and I would actually fill my head with positive thoughts by reading growth oriented books, AA literature or inspirational quotes.

Hopefully most of you won't be working in as toxic of a work place as I did. And I want to stress that you have such a great opportunity for growth by applying the skills for personal development at work.

As an example, I think pretty much everybody has someone at work, that when you interact with them you think to yourself, "Oh God, here we go again" because the scene is almost a complete replay every time that you interact with them. Wouldn't that be a perfect place for you to practice personal development at work by applying what you've learned in the episode on active listening skills? What would happen if you used that as an opportunity to break that pattern of preparing your response while they are talking or presuming what they're going to say and actually get into the process of active listening with them?

Or maybe your job is one that can really stress you out at times. This could be a great opportunity where you can practice the basic meditation exercises that we have given in a recent episode. I am guessing that if you're watching this series, that there are many different skills and strategies that you're studying from numerous sources, not just the material here on Self-Awareness 101.

What I am suggesting to you, is using work as a place that gives you the opportunity to apply what you've learned. There is a great phrase in AA literature that says, "We practice these principles in all our affairs." To me this means that when we learn to be accepting we aren't just accepting when its convenient. We learn to be accepting in every area of our lives; in our relationships, in our home life, in our work environment, when we're driving on the highway and somebody cuts us off. We practice these principles in every area of our life.

Applying personal development at work will help you grow tremendously. Take a look back over some of the episodes we've done. Maybe an area of that you can apply personal development at work is dealing with external resistance. Maybe you have a stressful work place or a toxic environment you go into every day. Maybe you are learning how to create a supportive environment. You can easily apply the basic meditation exercises that we talked about or active listening skills. Bring these lessons that you have learned into your daily life, practice personal development at work.

One of the things that I suggest for you to do this week, and I actually do this every day, when I go to work, I prepare myself by setting up my focus for the day. I spend time each morning creating my focus for the day with that intention being how can I bring who I am at home, these areas that I work on constantly, how can I bring them into my work environment? How can I be more aware of communicating effectively with those around me? Of bringing peace to myself and to others?

So again, I invite you to look back at some of the past episodes and find those areas that you know you struggle with when it comes to applying your personal development at work. Then use this as an opportunity for growth.

I look forward to your feed back. I look forward to hearing how you have applied personal development at work. And I look forward to connecting with you again soon.

Take Care. 

< EP 30: Basic Meditation Exercises                              EP 32: Toxic Shame > 

Choose the next Episode you would like to watch from the list below:

Self-Awareness 101 Series with Transcription Plus

Introduction To Self-Awareness 101:  To Inspire, Educate and Empower
SA 101 Episode 1:  The Importance of Developing Self-Awareness 
SA 101 Episode 2:  How to Truly Learn from Mistakes
SA 101 Episode 3:  To Soar, I Needed To Let Go Of The Past
SA 101 Episode 4:  The Meaning That We Give Things
SA 101 Episode 5:  Kind Words And Good Deeds Are Eternal
SA 101 Episode 6:  Life Begins At The End Of Your Comfort Zone
SA 101 Episode 7:  Two Most Powerful Words You'll Ever Say
SA 101 Episode 8:  Making Time For What's Truly Important
SA 101 Episode 9:  Expectations and Desires About How It Ought To Be
SA 101 Episode 10:  Tap Into The Sources Of The Universe
SA 101 Episode 11:  The Four Agreements
SA 101 Episode 12:  Courage-Being Scared But Saddling Up Anyways
SA 101 Episode 13:  The Power Of Belief Systems
SA 101 Episode 14:  Change Is Inevitable, Growth Is Optional
SA 101 Episode 15:  You Always Have Choices, It's OK To Say No
SA 101 Episode 16:  Encountering External Resistance To Change
SA 101 Episode 17:  Creating A Supportive Environment
SA 101 Episode 18:  Our Decisions Determine Who We Become
SA 101 Episode 19:  Questions To Ask When You Overcome An Obstacle
SA 101 Episode 20:  A List Of Excuses Vs. Results
SA 101 Episode 21:  The Meaning Of Honesty
SA 101 Episode 22:  Living In Gratitude
SA 101 Episode 23:  Repetitive Patterns
SA 101 Episode 24:  Non-Verbal Cues
SA 101 Episode 25:  Be Brave Enough To Accept The Help Of Others
SA 101 Episode 26:  Positive Thoughts And Positive Intentions
SA 101 Episode 27:  Active Listening Skills
SA 101 Episode 28:  How Self-Awareness Relates To Spirituality
SA 101 Episode 29:  Positive Affirmations
SA 101 Episode 30:  Basic Meditation Exercises
SA 101 Episode 31:  Personal Development At Work
SA 101 Episode 32:  Toxic Shame
SA 101 Episode 33:  Eliminating Clutter
SA 101 Episode 34:  How To Forgive Others
SA 101 Episode 35:  Self-Forgiveness
SA 101 Episode 36:  Deepening Self-Awareness
SA 101 Episode 37:  What Is Fear?
SA 101 Episode 38:  How To Overcome Fear
SA 101 Episode 39:  Dealing With Your Anger
SA 101 Episode 40:  How To Find Your Passion
SA 101 Episode 41:  Increasing Your Self-Awareness
SA 101 Episode 42:  How To Feel Deserving
SA 101 Episode 43:  How To Be A Humble Observer
SA 101 Episode 44:  Progress Not Perfection
SA 101 Episode 45:  Expectations And Perfectionism
SA 101 Episode 46:  Dealing With Anger
SA 101 Episode 47:  Taking Responsibility For Yourself
SA 101 Episode 48:  Achieving Higher Consciousness
SA 101 Episode 49:  Trust Life
SA 101 Episode 50:  Being Skeptical
SA 101 Episode 51:  Benefits Of Closure
SA 101 Episode 52:  The Final Episode

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