Engaging in Work and Life: How to “Live Fully”

For World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10th, employee engagement thought leader David Zinger advocates helping “all employees live fully at work – with a full life and a life full of meaning and mattering. We need to recognize when employees are struggling and what we can do to help.” His message is timely given recent public attention on mental health issues and suicidal behavior, and it has important meaning for everyone inside and outside the workplace.

David describes “living fully” as the opposite of suicide:

To live fully is to have a full life in years while putting fullness into each day. It embraces and acknowledges life’s joys and suffering, both our own and others, letting in compassion and support. Living fully is about living for both us and for others. Living fully at work is more about work/life integration than trying to find an ideal state of balance. Living fully at work is the new meaningful employee recognition when we are attuned to others in our work community and we recognize and connect with them during progress, celebration, setback, struggle, and loss.

He also suggests how to apply “living fully” at work:

  1. Accept each day as an invitation to live fully.
  2. Be mindful of moments and in touch with all your fluctuating emotions.
  3. Engage with both your work and the people you work with.
  4. Acknowledge impermanence – know that even negative experiences will change over time.
  5. Move beyond isolation from others by making connection and contribution.
  6. Flourish at work with positive emotions, engagement, relationships, meaning, accomplishment, and strengths.
  7. Open your head, heart, and hands to your coworkers.
  8. Transform the ritual question of “how are you today?” into an authentic curiosity and really listen and respond to what the other person says.
  9. Face fears and create safety at work by caring for others and caring about what they are trying to achieve in their life.
  10. Know that small is big, by taking small steps day after day you will make a huge difference in your life or the life of someone else.

I love David’s suggestion to “entertain a playful serenity with this modified serenity prayer”:

“God grant me the laughter to see the past with perspective, face the future with hope, and celebrate today without taking myself too seriously.”

[Note: the above content is excerpted with permission from David Zinger’s post: How to Live Fully at Work: The New Employee Recognition.]

Thank you, David!


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