Cultivate serenity in the workplace

Published on Wednesday, 15 January 2014 23:11 - Written by By Joyce Buford Guest Columnist

The serenity prayer of Alcoholics Anonymous says that the key to peacefulness is to accept what you cannot change, change what you can and possess the wisdom to know the difference.

While this is a good model, how do you tell the difference between what you can and cannot change?

Here are some things you do have control over.

Your actions: No one can “make” you do anything. If you’re unhappy with your behavior at work or at home, change it. Make amends if necessary. Chart a new course. Balance in your life is the key here. Too often we over commit ourselves hoping to please other people and in the end sacrifice our own peace.

Think next time and choose to live a balanced life, not just the most popular action.

Your words: Spoken or written, the words you choose impact your life and the lives of others. Choose your words carefully with workmates, colleagues, bosses and clients, and quickly acknowledge any harm. This involves saying those words, “I’m sorry” or “Perhaps I spoke too fast, please excuse me. Let’s try this.”

Your beliefs: If you believe that others should take care of your needs, then you will be frustrated when they don’t. If you rely too much on others, you’ll surely face disappointment.

Here are some very important words. YOU are responsible for your happiness. No one else.

Your values: What’s important to you is your choice. No one else should tell you what to value. Spend some time clarifying your values and then aligning your work and life with them. One of the important issues always covered with my clients is clarifying and stating your values.

What do you believe about who you are?

If you are not sure, take the time to sit down and create that list. You know it. You just haven’t acknowledged it in written form.

Your work. No one else can contribute to the world in the same way as you. Do whatever it takes to find your purpose through work.

Do you know how special you are? You have a purpose in this life. You have a mission to complete while you are alive.

It might be being the best mother or father or leader, but it is something that only you can do. Find your passion and live it. Then your days will be filled with more joy and happiness than you can believe.

Your friends. Those you associate with say a lot about what you think about yourself. You can choose friends who support you or those who bring you down.

Yes, select your friends carefully. Who you hang with is who you become. People who choose negative people to play with become negative people.

Spend less time with those friends that don’t contribute to you but lessen you.

Your input. You can select your sources of news and entertainment. If you feel adversely affected, turn off the computer, the TV, and/or ignore advertising. Fill downtime from work with other activities, such as leisurely walks, gardening (weeding can be especially helpful in managing anxiety), and cooking or other creative pursuits.

According to a Nielsen survey, Americans ages 2 and up spend an average of 34 hours per week watching TV. We’re creating a totally new generation of “TV watchers.” The television has become the babysitter. Scary!

Your time. Though it might not always feel this way, you do choose every day how to use its 24 hours. Fill those hours with more of what you truly want and you will feel you’re your mood improve.

Create new habits. Put in more self time, prayer time, meditation time, learning time, work time, family time, exercise time and play time. With a plan you can create a beautiful life and get more done than you ever thought possible.

Your basic health. While you can’t control your genetic make-up, you can choose to exercise, sleep enough, eat healthy food, and get routine check-ups. While you’re at it, don’t forget your mental health. Treat yourself a little better; trust a little more that things will work out for you; if you need help don’t let pride stop you from asking.

Your legacy. All that you choose while alive — your actions and words — will become the gift you leave when you die.

What will be your legacy?

Ask these questions? Did I love enough? Did I live enough, and did I give enough?


Joyce Buford is a life coach in Tyler and founder and CEO of SecondWind Speaking, Training and Coaching.