Resiliency has a quality of toughness. It reflects a person’s capacity to thrive in adversity. It accepts that the vagaries of events only go one’s way some of the time despite the amount of positive thinking or goal setting a person does. People confront few challenges in adjusting to a life of continual and expanding success. What requires effort, clear thinking, and perseverance is grappling with a life with set-backs, brick walls, and dead ends. This latter world is the one that calls for resiliency.
Among the many actions, attitudes, and relationships that this series considers as contributing to resiliency, engaging work plays an important role. The experience of work engagement brings energy and focus to workplace activities. Rather than going through the motions while waiting for time to pass, people become absorbed in doing things that matter. Feeling engaged prompts more constructive activity that in turn prompts more feelings of engagement. The feelings and the actions support one another in a balanced way.
The experience of engagement contributes to individual and workgroup resiliency in some fundamental ways. The subjective feeling of being energetic rather than exhausted defines the most central resource available to a person. Whatever program of exercise, nutrition, or relaxation happening in one’s life is a step away from the central point of feeling energetic. Without that subjective feeling at least some of the time, those sensible activities and routines lose their potential value.
Engaging activities at work or in one’s personal life put that energy to good use in ways that inspire more energy. The involvement in this energy fulfilled life supports resiliency by giving people hope that they can persevere through challenges to a sustainable level of activity.
What to do:
• Track your energy levels through a work day.
• What activities inspire a sense of energetic involvement?
• What activities leave you feeling exhausted and discouraged?
Challenge: how to rebalance your worklife to have more of the first and less of the second?