Are you your best self every day?
While that may sound like a question posed by Oprah, a new book by Tom Rath -- the author of the mega-selling "StrengthsFinder 2.0" -- points out that many people pursue happiness instead of creating meaning. He believes you need to start rethinking your daily interactions with the people who matter most, and put your own health first in order to be your best every day.
In "Are You Fully Charged? The 3 Keys to Energizing Your Work and Life," Rath says:
- Money doesn't equal happiness. People feel more positive when they are making a difference to other people, feel rested and are fully charged. In other words, money won't buy the things for you that truly make you feel good.
- Go to bed. Research shows the top performers get about 8.5 hours of sleep a night. They also take breaks about every hour they work.
- Pursue other interests. A study showed that employees who were encouraged to engage in creative activities unrelated to work (such as creative writing) performed better on the job.
- Do work that interests you. Research shows that people perform better if they're doing work that interests them. Keep a journal that looks at your daily work activities that give you a positive charge or make a long-term contribution to society. "If you fail to do meaningful work that makes a difference today, the day is gone forever," he says.
- Nurture connections. "People greatly underestimate how everyday interactions influence their daily experience," he says. "Everyone you communicate with on a daily or weekly basis, whether you consider them friends or even know their name, influences your well-being. This also means that you have the ability to add a positive charge to every conversation throughout your day."
- Help someone else. Even if you're having a lousy day, smiling at someone or offering specific, positive feedback can help pick you up. These acts of kindness can help you feel better -- and the impact they have on others can be huge.
- Get healthy. When you're getting enough sleep, eating right and exercising, you will make better decisions, have better interactions and be more productive. By having more energy, you will be your best for your job, your family and your friends.
- Hit the pause button. "When you face a brief psychological stressor, it helps to simply hit the pause button in your mind," he says. "The more something gets under your skin, causes your heart to race and makes you breathe a bit more quickly, the more important it is to step back before speaking or typing a single word."
Rath provides questions and resources in the book to help you find the meaning in your life and begin a process to help you make changes.
"Embrace the fact that you need to infuse a lot of good into this world while you can," he says. "You have the opportunity to decide how you will spend your time. Use this knowledge to stay focused on doing what's most important every day."