Great Strides and Small Steps: Factumforming
While a plant can survive under many different circumstances, it needs the right amount of sun, water and nutrients to flourish. Obviously the soil it’s planted in makes a difference. The good news is we can amend it with other rich soil. The same can be said for our work environment.
I can be productive and get the work I need done under a less than ideal working environment. Constant deadlines or high amounts of stress may train me to be more efficient, but it does not mean I’m producing my best work or leading my best life. It simply means I’m good at adapting to a less than optimal situation. That’s a great skill- for the exceptions in our lives, not for living our best lives.
Whether you are a partner or an associate in a law firm, you cannot control those you work around. You can’t make them do what you want. You can ask them or determine certain tasks a job requires, but you still cannot control them.
The very best we can do is create the atmosphere we wish to work in through our thoughts, words and deeds. It all starts with the microenvironment- YOU.
Identifying what I don’t like helps often help bring clarity what I want. Have you ever worked at a place you didn’t like, or you liked most of it, but there’s this one thing that kept it from being a great job? It may be at the last place you worked or even where you are now. Let’s take look at that.
First, write down the top three work environment factors that you don’t like being around. It can be working with people who are constantly changing their minds, those who get really intense for no reason or someone whose nose is always to the grindstone and is about nothing but work, work, work.
Next, what are the three top environmental factors at work that allow you to thrive? Finally, what can you be doing to create that feeling or sense in yourself? You can’t stop others from being who they are. But, you certainly can be a positive influence around those closest to you by creating the atmosphere you want.
Carl Sagan used the word terraform to describe a process in which we would make the planet Venus hospitable to humans. Factumforming is creating a environment work that is designed by you to have work be part of living your best life.
Take one of the factors that allow you to be your best and BE that for the next two weeks. Exude that quality, let it be the DNA factor it is in your life, even if you are not receiving it. Be it and live it. Don’t make it conditional by what anyone else does or does not do. You’re not asking anyone to be different than who they are. This is about you creating your work life.
It’s by better understanding who we are and under what circumstances we live our best life that we become our best selves. Not by just being more productive or choosing an “I can function” existence. There is a fine line between putting up with what we don’t like to make a situation livable and ignoring what we need to live a full and robust life. When we lose sight of the latter, we are in trouble. While we “can’t always get what we want”, we can be and live into what we need for an expanding life.