Improve your performance consistently despite obstacles, challenges and stressors.
In an Indeed survey, 60% of employers said that they believe a lack of passion for work is the reason some employees don’t perform well in their roles.
Passion is the key to high productivity and performance.
Many of us Type-A high performers have a myriad of challenging goals to achieve.
But what happens when we forget the “why” when achieving our goals and instead just work towards attaining them at all costs? Just because it’s on our list, we want to cross it off. What happens when we use stupid grit (which I talk about a lot) to see our goals through no matter what?
I see it almost every day with my coaching clients. And sometimes, I catch my clients on their way there.
Mindfulness and grit go hand in hand… Mindfulness helps us stay stable, focused, and organized. This, in turn, increases our productivity. Simply put, mindfulness, the practice of becoming present at the moment, helps us take steps to turn dreams into tangible reality.
Grit is our passion and perseverance towards achieving a goal.
Grit is a helpful and amazing trait. Mindfulness is a helpful and amazing tool.
However, when left unchecked, it grows to become what I call “Stupid Grit”. “When you drive forward to the detriment of yourself and others, that’s stupid grit,” explains best-selling author and positive psychology coach, Caroline Adams Miller.
I stayed in roles that didn’t fit me for far too long or worked for people I simply didn’t align with. The job responsibilities were not ones that I enjoyed. I stayed in certain roles that exceeded their threshold when this didn’t serve me, my manager, or my employees. Stupid grit was at work at these times.
The overuse of anything good can harm you and others. Hence, Miller suggests that we’d do better to pursue authentic grit, which includes passion. She defines this as the “passionate pursuit of hard goals that causes one to emotionally flourish, take positive risks, live without regret, and awe and inspire others.”
Our culture rewards us for accomplishments regardless of how we get them. So many of us exhaust all resources and go at all costs to complete something.
However, passion is a strong feeling of desire or strong liking. It’s an inexhaustible fuel that propels us all through the long journey towards a goal.
Many often think of passion as what is done outside of our traditional 9- 5 work.
According to a Deloitte study, up to 87.7 percent of America’s workforce is not able to reach their full potential because they don’t have a passion for their work. Less than 12.3 percent of America’s workforce shows traits of worker passion.
Virtually every high-performer I know includes passion in their 9-5. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that you must love being an accountant. But you should be passionate about a substantial part of what that role entails, like working with numbers. This “passion gap” is important in the workplace because passionate workers are committed to continually achieving higher levels of performance.
Doing work you love is energizing and creates a positive feedback loop that fuels productivity. Your passion for work energizes you and vice versa, giving you more fuel to put towards success.
As Steve Jobs famously said regarding being passionate about work, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.”And then there’s Richard Branson, who said, “There is no greater thing you can do with your life and your work than follow your passions in a way that serves the world and you.” Or, better yet, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life,” often attributed to Confucius.
For me, I did not love sales per se, but I loved so many other parts of the job, including:
People (I loved the constant interactions with internal coworkers and my clients.)
As I said, at one point, I took a job to help me get to another job (my goal was to become a director before I was 30). However, when I paused to notice how I felt, I realized I didn’t like the current manager role (now that I was in it). And, I didn’t want more of the same in the director role. That pause in the present moment to check-in gave me time to reflect and tweak my path to one that helped me live my passions.
Sometimes, we don’t know until we experience something. And yet, when we know better, we have the power (and responsibility) to make better decisions for ourselves.
The challenge I see with many of my clients is that they are going too fast and are too distracted to pause.
When we practice mindfulness, we are better equipped to turn our dreams into reality. We pause to check in and avoid accomplishing tasks using stupid grit. That way, we never have to know what it feels like to be burned out.
We can use that pause in our Type A breakneck pace to ask, “Do I enjoy what I am doing?" “Is this goal something I really want to accomplish?" “If not for my career, do I have a passion in my life?” And before we hire people, understanding if they are taking a role they are passionate about... or just there to collect a paycheck.
So how do you move from stupid grit and grinding it out to mindful motivation and flowing with passion?
Start with your current job, seek ways to create more.
Use the 'puppy test'.
Contact me for a 30 minute 1:1 call to discuss your specific situation.
Want support with the tools mentioned above? Reach out for a FREE 30-minute coaching call. Feel like you or your organization help increasing productivity and resilience in your employees? I work with both 1:1 and corporate clients to help increase performance and wellbeing through my proven Performance-Based Mindfulness methodology.