How To Build Your WorkLife Around What Engages and Inspires You

What Completely Engages and Inspires You in Your WorkLife and How To Use This to Create Your Go-Be-Do Joie de Vivre WorkLife Living Plan

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I listen to The Tim Ferriss Show, a podcast where he deconstructs world-class performers from eclectic areas to extract the tactics, tools and routines they use. You should check it out, it’s really inspiring. A favourite question of mine which Tim asks all of his guests is: “What message would you put on a billboard?” One of my favourite answers was “Go Be Do”, because it reminded me when I’m living my WorkLife fully this is what I’m doing; and when I’m not I ask myself where I want to go, who do I want to be with and what do I want to do. In fact, I’ve created my ‘Joie De Vivre’ WorkLife Living Plan (living my best WorkLife) from this.

What is it you find yourself doing when you’re completely engaged and inspired, and the time just passes by and you have to remind yourself to stop to eat, and before you know it the morning has turned into evening and you can still continue with what you’re doing into the night. For me, it’s writing. Not so long ago, my response to that questions was: “Lately it’s writing, and I say lately as I suppose part of me wonders if this is a passing phase and if my thought process will dry up soon.” But since then, and in a very short space of time, I’ve written my first paperback, twenty seven e-books, and I’m working on my next paperback.

Why do I want to write? Because, as Colin Firth said in his role as George VI in The Kings Speech, “I have a voice”. I’m discovering writing to be a great expression of that, and being the reflective soul I am, writing is a more natural medium for me to get my thinking out into the world, as opposed to impromptu speaking. As Mark Twain once said: “It takes me three weeks to prepare for an impromptu speech.”

My professional and personal development is important to me, as I expect it is for you. For some of you it will be an important perk of your job — i.e. you’re fortunate that support to continue to progress and develop in your WorkLife is part of your reward package.

However, what do you do if the development budget has been frozen, or like me you need to fund your own learning and development. Or what if you want to develop skills for something you aspire to do in the future and can’t get buy-in from your manager to approve this because they can’t see how it will support you in your current role, and actually you don’t really want them to know about it anyway.

The good news is there are ways to gain skills that will serve you in progressing your WorkLife path in the direction of your choice, and this can be done in a manner that fits into your WorkLife in an engaging and inspiring way that is enjoyable, rewarding, fun, and cost-effective.

For example, once I knew I wanted the next stage of my next WorkLife to be about supporting individuals in their WorkLife learning and development (in a previous life I worked in investment banking) I undertook a degree in Career Coaching and Career Management. This was a significant investment, but knowing the work I aspired to do, I knew to be able to support others I needed a good theoretical foundation that I could then personalise to my client needs. This has led me to where I am now, and I’m thoroughly enjoying my WorkLife and learning so much from the people I support through my work.

And so, to continue my own learning and development and move my WorkLife in the direction I want to, I’ve identified that I want to continue to develop my research and development skills, together with reading more. These are supporting skills for my writing. For the moment I’m not going to invest in any specific training to do this, but instead I’m adopting a hands-on approach of just getting stuck in and building this into my day.

The purpose of this is to become a specialist in my area by staying up-to-date with what’s going on in my industry, and across other industries. Discovering new ways of doing things, and as a result be able to support people in a manner that draws on expertise, is fresh, interesting, creative, innovative and fun.

Other areas I want to develop are my technical ability, and my marketing skills — in the past I have to admit to being a little phobic about technology. So, to facilitate this development need, I built my first websites, and I’m learning all about social media. I have to say I’m really enjoying it,

and of course it’s a double whammy because along the way I’m creating content that is helpful for people and as a result my business. My business skills are also growing — so a win/win, really.

And what if as an aspiring writer my thought process dries up, and I develop writer’s block, as they say? Well, that’s when the romantic side of me kicks in, and I think I’ll take myself off to a beautiful location, perhaps a French, Spanish or Italian home that has a vineyard for a backyard. My creative juices are sure to flow once more — or it may just seem that way a vintage or two later!

Develop Your WorkLife Story

If I can do it so can you. Just think about what you’re doing when you’re completely engaged and inspired, and build more of this into your day. Then think about the skills you want to develop, and you’ll find ways to take a hands-on approach to make this happen.


 What Completely Engages You in Your WorkLife Assignment

What are you doing when you’re completely engaged and inspired? How can you build more of this into your day, your week, your month? What skills do you want to develop to become better at this?
 Are there any further supporting skills you want to develop?

Your Go-Be-Do Assignment

What interesting places do you want to Go to? What interesting people do you want to Be with? What interesting things do you want to Do?

From this create your Go-Be-Do WorkLife Living Plan

For example:

I do want to go to vineyards. While saying this was a fun way to bring my story to a close, as the old adage goes: “Many a true word is spoken in jest.” Why do I want to go? Well, apart from the fact that I really like wine, I also love vineyards. I know that a vineyard road trip will take me to inter- esting places. I’ll meet interesting people along the way: the people behind the vineyard and their stories, as well as fellow wine lovers. I’ll learn about wine and get to develop my appreciation. I’ll write about it by way of sharing my stories and developing my writing ability. I’ll take photographs, maybe even videos, which will allow me to develop other skills I’ve identified I want to. I want to develop them to embrace my interests in photography and filming, and also because I want to use photos and videos as part my marketing. I want to bring different element of my WorkLife together and this is a natural way to do that.

This story is one of the stories featured in my book: How To Build Your WorkLife Around What Engages and Inspires You, from The School Of WorkLife Book Series.

Click on the above title for an inside view of the book, where you will see the stories and assignments. Tap the link below to see the other books in the series. 

The stories I write are based on real WorkLife challenges, obstacles and successes. In some stories I share my own experiences, and with permission stories of people I’ve worked with, whose names have been changed to protect their anonymity. Other persons and companies portrayed in the stories are not based on real people or entities.

Published by Carmel O' Reilly

Carmel O’ Reilly: WorkLife Learning Practitioner & Writer Author of WorkLife Book Club, Your WorkLife Your Way and The School of WorkLife book series. Created to help you manage your WorkLife Learning. Blogger & Podcaster: Telling people’s powerful stories about WorkLife challenges & successes Founder of My guiding statement is to help people pursue their WorkLives with greater clarity, passion, purpose and pride by creating continuous WorkLife learning programmes that are accessible to everyone.