The Collins Dictionary defines a vortex as “a mass of wind or water that spins round so fast that it pulls objects down into its empty center.”
The reference to the empty center jumped out at me. I often think of some of my past roles as an incredible force, a vortex that took over my life. It’s a sneaky energy, often fueled by the glorified status of being busy. Oh, the dangers of busyness. When did exhaustion become a status symbol?
The whirlwind does keep you busy indeed. It gets power from title chases, the hunt for rewards and recognition, or whatever we think will make us feel whole. We reach for milestone after milestone, big and small, yet, something is still missing. And one day, if we’re lucky, we discover that at the center lies … emptiness.
Keep in mind, right now, about 80% of workers do not feel engaged in their jobs. Instead of jumping out of bed in the morning excited about the day ahead, most of us barely gather the strength to show up, motivated solely by a paycheck. Worrisome statistics related to employee engagement and mental health have been shared and discussed for several years now. Efforts are being made to find a better way forward, but overall, the needle isn’t moving much. I am optimistic that things are changing, but I would be hard pressed to predict when we will get to a better place. So what can we do now?
Here’s a secret: our vision, thoughts, outlook, and approach are under our control, and they are key contributors to how we feel every day. So, let’s take charge of what we actually can control — ourselves.
To reclaim our balance and essence, let’s start by focusing on the following :
- Work itself does not define who you are, regardless of what you might have been led to believe, it does not.
- Take another look at the definition of vortex above and the reference to the empty center. Are you holding hope for an unrealistic outcome?
- Pay attention to your mental models about work. Are they serving you?
- What puts a bounce in your step? What brings you the most joy? Are you taking responsibility for bringing more of it into your life?
In other words, stare at the Vortex, look at it straight into its stormy eye and tell it, “I know who you are, and I know what you’re up to — I decide what matters to me.”
Find out how I can help you by visiting my Thrive 360° website.