20 Mar Are you flourishing, functioning or flailing?
When it comes to your experience of work and life, would you describe yourself as flourishing, just functioning or maybe even flailing?
A few years ago, a colleague of mine decided to do his PhD on flourishing at work. For three years he worked with nine organisations in the UK, surveying, profiling and interviewing 1,400 employees. He discovered that only 4 percent were flourishing! That’s shocking, don’t you think?
Recent figures for the UK indicate that 20 percent of us are flourishing. That’s higher than 4 percent that my friend’s survey but still seems disappointingly low.
So what is flourishing? And why do only a small group of people flourish?
Flourishing is simply living with high levels of wellbeing.
People who flourish are no different from you or me. They go through their fair share of ups and downs like everybody else. The only difference is that their psychology is buoyant and it carries them through challenges more gracefully.
What does it actually mean? It means that they experience positive emotions such as contentment, satisfaction, calmness, joy or gratitude more frequently than others. They approach challenges with curiosity and creativity and are able to bounce back from difficulties easier and quicker. People who flourish tend to have greater clarity about their goals, and are persistent in taking steps to achieve them. They are engaged in work and they love what they do. They are naturally good at relationships and experience deeper levels of connection and compassion. It sounds pretty good, isn’t it?
The question may arise – how do they do it? But if you ask them (I did!), they will tell you that they are not necessarily ‘doing it’. It is more about ‘being’.
The key aspect of flourishing is that it is effortless. Just like flowering of plants. It is natural. It is what plants are designed for. And the same applies to all of us.
Throughout my research, my own experience of burnout and working with many clients who work in high pressure environments and struggle with chronic stress, I can confirm that there is only one variable responsible for flourishing.
It is our AWARENESS. Awareness is the key that unlocks the flourishing from inside of our being.
When we don’t understand how our psychology works, we tend to spend lots of time lost and confused, misguided about who we really are, endlessly trying to work it out or to fix it, working hard to create circumstances that are supposed to make us happy, practicing lots of strategies to get ‘there’. We literally look for wellbeing in all the wrong places.
The key to flourishing is awareness about how we function. When we understand the principles that explain all of our perceptions, emotions, states of mind and behaviour, we have found the key! We can then learn to navigate our lives with more wellbeing, resilience, clarity and ease.
And that’s my passion. So, if you are finding yourself just functioning or even flailing drop me a message. Flourishing is our birthright and best possible future. Get your key today!
Wishing you flourishing,