How To Enjoy Your Life And Your Job
So how’s it going with your job? Be honest here, be open. I’m Dr. Paul Jenkins today on hero TV I’m going to share with you some ideas about how to enjoy your life and your job. Enjoying life, enjoying our work, enjoying our jobs, that’s what it’s all about isn’t it? coming to a place where we can really enjoy. What it is that we do. One of the things that I do is home improvement projects and I’m a shrink okay? I’m not a handyman and so I’m not particularly good at some of these things but I have people that I can consult with and I still remember this job where I was doing a little bit of plumbing in my home. I consulted with my dad who shared with me the two rules of plumbing. Now some of you are already aware of these I’m sure. Rule number one for plumbing , water runs downhill. Okay good to remember that. Rule number two, don’t lick your fingers.
Ah I think Dad was being funny about that but it’s actually pretty good rule too. And if you’ve ever replaced a toilet you know what I’m talking about. Water runs downhill, don’t lick your fingers. You understand those two things, you can get through a lot of plumbing. I’ve thought about that as a psychologist and I’m wondering, what are the correlates in psychology? I think it comes down to some similar rules. Rule number one, some things you control, other things you don’t. Have you noticed? pay attention this is actually a very profound truth. Some things you control, other things you don’t. Now here’s the don’t lick your fingers rule, pay attention to focus on and work on the first of those two things and accept the second. So we’re going to work on the things we do control and accept the things that we don’t. Those two rules are going to help us with a whole lot of things in terms of enjoying our life and our job. I had an opportunity recently on my podcast, live on purpose radio. To interview Dr. Sean Stephenson. Sean is sometimes known as the, “three-foot giant”. He’s an amazing and inspiring therapist in Arizona who works with people to accept the difficulties in their life of which he has had plenty. And Shawn pointed out to me that the surefire recipe for misery is this, and I agree with them. I’ve been a psychologist for 22 years I think he’s right on. He said, misery is caused by focusing on what you don’t want, what you don’t have, and what you don’t like. Now, even as I share that with you, you can probably connect with the truth of that. As we turn our attention and our energy to those three things, what we don’t want, what we don’t like, and what we don’t have, we feel miserable. So let’s use that to set up a formula for enjoying our life and our job and anything else really that comes into the spectrum of our life. First of all, let’s start with focusing on what we have. This is so much more useful. A friend of mine, Chad Hymas, is a world-class speaker. He had an accident about a dozen years ago where he suffered a spinal cord injury to his neck. He’s quadriplegic. When he was in the hospital as you can imagine, he was feeling not so happy about the circumstance. In fact, it caused some depression for Chad and he realized very early on in this process, that as long as he focused on what he can’t do anymore, what he doesn’t have, what he doesn’t want, what he doesn’t like, he’s going to be miserable. It was far more helpful for Chad in that circumstance to start identifying, what can I do? One of his mentors, Art Berg, wrote a book called, “the impossible just takes a little longer” Art had the same spinal cord injury and that attitude of, what can I do? empowers you and put you in a position of possibilities. So focus, focusing first on what you have. The fact that you have a life or a job is a really great thing. And guy on my couch not too long ago, going on and on and on about his job and all of the problems he was experiencing and I stopped him to get his attention. I said, What?! You have a job?! He rolled his eyes a little bit maybe like you are. Focus on that. That’s pretty cool. That’s a really great problem to have. So focusing on what you have put you in a position where you can move on to the next step. Focus on what you like. Everything has upsides and downsides. You might like that you get a paycheck. Okay. Let’s go with that. You might like some of the people that you’re hanging out with there. Awesome. Focus on what you like. What this does is it Fosters gratitude. The feeling of gratitude is pleasant and it triggers dopamine. Okay we’re going to talk a little bit of neuro chemistry here not a lot but just enough that you get it. It triggers dopamine into your central nervous system. This is extremely important because dopamine activates the prefrontal part of our brain. That’s the part that’s in charge of logic, problem-solving, conflict resolution, empathy, compassion, forgiveness, I can go on. You need this part of your brain to do what’s coming next. Focusing on what you like actually activate your brain to provide for you more of the good stuff. Now conversely if we go back to the misery for just a minute, when you focus on what you don’t like or what you don’t have or what you don’t want not only does that feel miserable, it triggers a little bump of cortisol into our central nervous system. This is the stress hormone. Cortisol has the effect of actually redirecting the blood flow in your brain from the prefrontal area that we just talked about down to the basement, the limbic system, the amygdala. A group of structures in the brain that are in charge of collectively the fight or flight response. This is survival mode. Your brain does this to keep you alive. Problem is, if it takes away the resources that are represented in the prefrontal part of your brain, you’re going to have a really hard time improving your situation or solving the problems. So you focus on what you like that fosters gratitude. It triggers dopamine into your central nervous system and activate your brain to continue moving forward. Now, the third one. Focus on what you want. Sometimes, I’ll bring people into my office. Couples for example, I’ll bring a couple and set him down on my couch and I’ll ask them, what do you want? and then he says, well I just don’t want her to be nagging me so much. or she says, well I don’t want him to be so darn controlling with our finances. Okay. That’s not what I asked them. See how I ask them what they want, they go to what they don’t want and like going to the train station and you tell the clerk at the ticket counter, “I want to buy a ticket but I don’t want to go to Los Angeles. can you do that for me?” Okay now the poor ticket clerk the only destination in their mind is the one you don’t want. So how could that be helpful? We get focused instead on what we do want. We give clear instructions to that ticket counter to take us where we do want to go. This powers up our ability to get into creation mode. Where we get to go create all kinds of upgrades to what it is we already have. So quick summery, and we focus on what we have that gives us the resources to start with. We focus on what we like, which Foster’s gratitude and dopamine into our central nervous system and then we focus on what we want that gives us the clear marching orders for where we get to go with our next creation project. This is how we create a life that we love and we actually start to enjoy our life and our job and our relationships. and we could go on and on and on. I’ve had a lot of fun making these videos with Nate as always. He’s put a lot of helpful resources down there in the comments so make sure that you click through. Share this episode. And as always live on purpose, make a difference, and be the hero