How a make-a-difference mindset energizes your work
One of the fundamental characteristics of being human is a desire to make a difference. We want to feel that what we do matters. You can use that to your advantage in your efforts to add juice to your job.
Far too many people get caught on the hamster wheel at work, spinning around and feeling like little more than a faceless cog in the works. Hardly an inspiring source of energy.
One way to change that is to change your context. Step back and ask questions like:
- Who is this benefitting?
- How does this help?
- What is better because of what I’m doing?
- What does this enable?
- Whose life is easier because of what I do?
- Whose work is more productive because of this?
- What is the end result that this contributes to?”
- What opportunities does this create?.
When you’re dissatisfied with your work, your focus can collapse down to me, me, me. “This is boring me. I don’t like this. I’m unhappy here.”
Focusing on the difference you make takes your focus out of that negative spin cycle that keeps leading back to your dissatisfaction and places it somewhere else. The goal is to shift your context out of your own small story into a bigger story about how what you do makes a difference.
Questions like the ones above are a great way to expand the scope of your awareness of where your impact reaches. You might even make it a point to ask them on a regular basis (maybe weekly, or even daily) to make a habit of aiming your focus in a positive direction.
If you want to go wild and take it a step further, you could reach to the people who benefit from your work (if you are able to) and ask them how it helps them. Ask them why it matters.
Even in my work, which is based around helping people, it can make a world of difference in how I feel about what I’m doing when somebody gives me feedback on the impact the work we did together had on their life. That positive feedback can be a great energizer.
The more aware you are of the impact you have, the stronger your make-a-difference mindset.