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When Guilt and Shame Comes into Play: Feeling Unproductive

When Guilt and Shame Comes into Play: Feeling Unproductive

A large majority of us keep a list of things that needs to be accomplished during a work day. At certain days, our to-do lists grow longer and longer almost as if tasks won’t stop piling up. When other projects linger unfinished for quite some time, we can’t help but feel ashamed of the accumulating stockpile of work in our desk.

We often feel guilt and its close relative shame when we’ve done something wrong. Guilt is an internal feeling we have on something that we committed, while shame involves feeling like a bad guy, in the context of what the public views as bad behavior.

It’s a common scenario found in different industries but the main question is, are both feelings helpful?

It depends. For us to know how the aforementioned emotions affect an individual’s work behavior, it’s important that we truly understand its nature – its root causes as well as its differences.

Guilt, shame, and feeling unproductive

Despite of its perceived similarity, guilt and shame arise from different attributions and elicits different responses. Shame arises when an individual regards the root cause of their failures to something unchangeable. All the while, guilt is what comes when an individual regards the reason for their failure as something changeable.

Both emotions relate to different aspects of agency and control. When we experience guilt, we resort to focusing on what we could’ve done differently or what we could do to be better in the future but when we feel shame, we direct our attention to how finer things would be if we were a different person. Say for example, a freelancer overlooked a deadline and fails to submit the collaterals he/she has been making for a client on time. If the freelancer correlates this misdeed to his/her behavior, she is likely to experience guilt but if the person attributes it to something core in themselves, he/she would feel shame – a much more devastating emotional experience than guilt for it promotes constructive responses to our mistakes.

A liability or an asset

Both emotions have its pros and cons. For example, guilt can be motivating. It has the power to increase one’s propensity to cooperate. In most cases, it will drive employees to work on tasks that have been stalled for quite a while. At its lowest, it doesn’t create much interference in completing projects but the guilt produced by the inability to work under conditions that are beyond one’s control can be painful.

Shame, on the other hand, relays a different story. It can be problematic in a sense that it prompts individuals to engross in habits that minimize contriteness and are unproductive to the organization. In fact, there are studies providing evidence that people will explicitly procrastinate to avoid shame. Realistically speaking, it’s almost never helpful.

Carrying the same amount of advantages and disadvantages, both can either be a liability or an asset.

So how do we avoid the negative effects of guilt and shame? We need to put a stop to rumination – the process of having repetitive thoughts about something anxiety-provoking – so that it would be less painful for us.

• Exercise self-compassion

Being kind to oneself helps alleviate the negative effects of guilt and shame. We must be willing to forgive ourselves for the mistakes we’ve made. A large majority of us would tell our friends who are in the same situation to “give themselves a break”, so we must be able to give ourselves the same advice.

• Focus on your accomplishments

According Gabriele Oettingen’s Rethinking Positive Thinking: Inside the New Science of Motivation, focusing on the space between what you have accomplished and what you want to achieve leads to feelings of dissatisfaction. Admittedly, that same energy can motivate an individual to act but when they are unable to do so, focusing on what you have achieved can give you a sense of pride.

• Practicing acknowledgement

One of the many outcomes of mindfulness technique is acceptance of one’s situation. This perspective is also useful when we are trying to overcome feelings of guilt. During these moments, it’s important for us to remember that no matter how bad we feel, it won’t help get rid some of the work that needs to be done.

 

With the innate tradition of needing to look “busy” to be labeled as “productive”, feeling guilty is simply unavoidable.

This type of culture greatly contributed to our anxious tendencies and the longer it stays, the harder it is for us to diminish this toxic habit. Luckily, today’s young professionals are implementing progressive changes in the hope of relieving their peers by starting in the root of it all – the workplace.

With the help of shared offices like coworking spaces that encourages well deserved breaks and reflective downtimes, freelancers and budding entrepreneurs are welcomed to a fresh culture – one that doesn’t berate you for being ‘unproductive’. Its supportive community of like-minded individuals are constantly reminding us that it’s okay to have some slow Mondays, the greater audience agreeing in unison.

If you’ve been feeling down lately, hit us up and maybe we can cheer you up!

Willpower is Overrated: How to Succeed with Limited Drive

Willpower is Overrated: How to Succeed with Limited Drive

Known as the ability to resist short-term temptations in order to meet long-term goals, Willpower is often seen as the secret to success. A large majority of the public believes that with more self-control, they can easily improve their lives.

It allows people to make better decisions and stick with them until they’ve achieved their goals. With its help, we delay gratification – a hardwired need for us humans.

With research and first-hand experience backing it up, it comes as no surprise that we believe it’s the secret ingredient to success. But the question is, in this modern time, is it still an important element to reaching our goals?

How willpower became the ‘key’ to success

During ancient times, our kind relied on natural instincts to survive. But as civilization evolved, our ancestors wanted to put things in order. Rules were created to be followed and only by following them will a person get what they want, and survive modern society. Because of this, we made self-discipline a virtue.

During the late 1960s and early 1970s, a marshmallow experiment made us believe that it leads to success. Lead by psychologist Walter Mischel, the Stanford marshmallow experiment was a series of studies conducted on delayed gratification. It was simple but it revealed a lot about what willpower can do. Children who participated in the aforementioned experiment were given a choice between immediately being able to eat one piece of marshmallow and waiting for twenty minutes to eat two marshmallows.

Results showed that those who were able to wait fared better in life than those who took the easy route. It pioneered the studies on willpower and experts began to put more emphasis on its benefits.

Nowadays, it’s fair to say that it controls a lot of what we do for we see it as a detrimental factor in reaching our goals. Trainings on developing better willpower became big business as well as countless workshops and seminars.

Despite of the hype it gained, it carries a series of limitations that not a lot of people know about.

The restraints of determination and how to overcome it

Willpower is similar to a muscle – when overused, it gets tired. The fact remains that it still has its limits and on top of this, other factors such as emotional state, physical well-being, and our own tendencies of reflecting our past mistakes hinders us from making the most out of it. Yet despite of its restraint, there’s a way for us to easily navigate ourselves around it.

The realization that willpower has its limitations is the first key to succeeding with limited drive. After doing so, one must create a system that will support them in reaching their goals and drams. Without a personal success system, it defeats the purpose of determination.

Creating a system

A personal success system is one that formulates the right conditions within your mind and environment in order to help you make a surefire outcome. With this in place, willpower becomes this extra helping hand as you reach your goals. Should your drive fall short, with the right system, you’ll remain walking in right path to achievement. Here are the essentials in creating a success system of your own:

• Knowing What Makes You Happy

Take some time to reflect what truly makes you happy – it’s important that we know what motivates us so that when the time comes and our willpower falters during our darkest days, we can easily retreat to simple things that make us happy to uplift us and motivate us once again.

• The Right Environment

Willpower on its own doesn’t place any emphasis on what needs to be changed in your environment, but instead, puts its focus on overcoming its disadvantages. So it comes as no surprise that the moment it fails us, we succumb to environmental influences no matter how much we resist them.

As humans, we are influenced by our surroundings – consciously or not. From what we see in the news, the stories we hear from our friends and even our homes as well as workplaces.

So for us to have a smooth journey towards success, we must create an environment that actually helps us in reaching our goals. For one, if you want to concentrate better, move to a much more secluded room. Other than that, it can also directly support your career. A perfect example is by joining coworking spaces and experience being a part of a community of like-minded professionals.

Several freelancers and digital nomads alike flock these shared offices for its sustainable work environment. Its wide range of work areas allows them to choose where they want to work and when to work. Moreover, its great community of members allows them to learn new things and gives them the opportunity to further expand their network – supporting the goals of its members.

 

It’s high time that we face the facts: “willpower is not the be all and end all” of our careers. Though it remains as a basic component of success, having a system that can back you up the moment it fails you is also important.

Talk to us today and we’ll help you build the system you need to reach your dream.

Why Quitting Isn’t Such A Bad Thing

Why Quitting Isn't Such A Bad Thing

If we tell our colleagues that if we are unhappy with our current job, we should quit.

And though we admit just how badly we want to walk away, the idea actually terrifies us. The act elicits deeply rooted fears and anxieties within us. So instead of facing them, we cozy up back to our comfort zones – no matter how unhappy we actually are.

“Winners never quit and quitters never win”

This is the belief we grew accustomed to, shaping us to think that we shouldn’t stop while we’re ahead – we need to keep on moving forward. The negative impact it can create to our personal life coaxes us in the idea of staying stagnant. And in return, our brains would coerce us that this is what we want. When in reality, we’re just here for the sake of avoiding change.

Internal factors such as what our loved ones would say and financial insecurities would fog our view of the opportunities quitting can open, chances of growing and improving ourselves that contributes to our personal happiness.

Coauthor of the motivational book Just Start: Take Action, Embrace Uncertainty, Create the Future and preside of Babson College, Leonard Schlesinger, said that a large majority of us are paralyzed by our unhappiness with our current reality.

This same paralysis stops us from taking that leap and keeps us glued to various mundane job. Tech entrepreneur, Daniel Gulati believes that most of us stay too long in professions we hate because the corporate world is geared in keeping people in roles without really considering whether or not an individual matches his or her position.

Simply put, the world doesn’t give us enough freedom to grow and create situations that allows us to thrive and move forward.

Why you still feel ‘stuck’

So you’ve followed all the advice you’ve read from several motivational books but the feeling’s still the same. You still feel stuck and you’re not even really sure why.

If everything still feels the same, chances are it’s because you’re still resisting quitting. Even if it’s pretty obvious that things aren’t working for you anymore, you continue the same routine every day, refusing to prepare for the change walking away could bring.

We’d probably defend ourselves by saying that we’re not really sure what we want right now but this ideology hinders us from discovering the right career for ourselves by just sitting around and thinking about it. If something isn’t working, get up and gather the courage to do something about it.

The second we pick ourselves up and put ourselves into this kind of headspace, true breakthroughs will happen.

People who refuse to acknowledge their unhappy situations and continue to do the same thing day in and day out without ever finding real meaning in what they do, will never flourish – no matter how hard they work.

Quitting is okay

The fact remains, quitting carries a negative connotation – that is, when it means fleeing away from challenges and responsibilities – but in certain cases, it’s a necessary step towards the path of success. It all boils down to acceptance rather than fear.

Sometimes, it becomes exactly what we need in order for us to know what’s best for us – something that will be hard to find when doing the same thing over and over again. Don’t view quitting as a sign of failure, see it as a chance to find what you’re really set out to do in this world.

Statistically speaking, a large majority of today’s labor force are walking away from their 9-to-5 work and corporate roles to join the growing population of digital nomads – freelancers and remote workers cooped up in coworking spaces pursuing their dream jobs. These communities typically found within shared offices encourage young professionals to be brave, to not fear quitting and follow the path less traveled.

Its true magic reveals itself in the sense of urgency that follows, the same feeling that opens up a space for you to find what really matters.

Changing one’s perception isn’t easy, and that’s the truth. But ask yourself what truly makes you happy. What’s the one thing you can’t stop thinking about?

Deep down, we know what would really make us happy but fear is the only thing that’s stopping us from achieving this. Quitting is necessary when something no longer makes us happy or pushes us to grow.

View it as a chance to win at life and in any case that you still need some help, talk to us today.

The Wonders of Contemplation and 10 Minute Meditations

The Wonders of Contemplation and 10 Minute Meditations
Over the recent years, the need for creativity in several jobs have increased. No matter the industry or task – whether you are trying to pacify conflicting stakeholder priorities, looking for solutions to a client’s complaints, or launching a new product, your answers won’t probably be found in textbooks or academic papers.

But the thing is, it’s not easy to generate diverse ideas day by day. Chances are, creative blocks come in the way or worse, we actually run out of them. So what do we do once this happens? How do we move forward when our mind have seemingly hit a wall?

Mindfulness meditation have become an increasingly popular solution to curing mental blocks. Not only are researchers advertising its benefit but even leading firms such as Google, Goldman Sachs, and Medtronic are introducing this method of contemplation, as well as other mindfulness practices to their employees. Their executives and those from other organizations are saying that not only is it useful for stress-reduction, but it can also enhance creativity, opening a door in the wall blocking us from going forward.

But encouraging such acts would take a lot of convincing. These unorthodox ways of increasing productivity is often frowned upon, so in order to open up one’s mind to this approach, it’s important to gain a deeper understanding of its affectivity.

The Science of Musings and Contemplation

Administrators who gave contemplation a try, said that it actually helps them switch gears when things are becoming too stressful. In addition to this, there’s a large number of existing literature on the other benefits that it brings to the workplace. If one is to do it regularly, it can boost their resilience – allowing them to mitigate stress, regulate emotions, and develop a much more positive outlook. Moreover, it helps them switch off their innate reactive fight-or-flight response and engage in a more thoughtful mode needed in making balanced decisions.

Danny Penman argues in his book, Mindfulness for Creativity, that meditation and other similar practices amplify three essential skills for creative problem solving. First, mindfulness that switches on divergent thinking, opening our minds to new ideas. Second, it improves attention and makes registering ideas much easier. Lastly, it nurtures courage and pliancy against skepticism and other setbacks – a quality much needed for various innovation processes.

To further strengthen the claims that creativity is one of its first benefits, an experiment was conducted at the Erasmus University of Rotterdam, Netherlands. One hundred twenty-nine students participated in the test to see whether a minimum of ten minute meditation would be sufficient to boost creativity. The results showed that the short contemplation activities given to them rendered the participants in a more positive and relaxed frame of mind. Moreover, it decreased the participants’ feelings of restlessness by at least twenty-three percent, nervousness by seventeen percent, and irritation by twenty-four percent. Google’s Mindfulness Program Advisor, Mirabai Bush, said in a conference that the activity will make your life work better and your work life better – a win-win situation.

Step-by-Step Process

At the end of the day, the only way you’ll find out whether or not meditation and contemplation works for you, is for you to actually try it yourself. You can download apps such as Headspace, Calm, or Buddhify. You can also try following instructions from short courses that can be found online.

And for us to actually experience it to the fullest, it’s important that our work environments would provide us with enough freedom to do it. Traditional offices would usually disapprove of such activities but the growing presence of coworking spaces are giving today’s professionals room for mindfulness activities. The global phenomenon of shared spaces allows its members full autonomy of their workday and provides them with a wide variety of work areas that they can use any time they please. So in case you want to give ten minute meditations a try, you can easily pick a quiet area for a quick break.

Better ideas and a better mood can easily be achieved in approximately just about the same time that it takes for you to enjoy a cup of coffee. And if you want to give it a try, we can introduce you to a working environment that encourages mindfulness.

A Breath of Fresh Air: Diversifying K-pop Groups

A Breath of Fresh Air: Diversifying K-pop Groups

2017 played quite the significant role for South Korean pop or K-pop culture. In the aforementioned year, what once was a hidden safe haven became a major driver of global culture.

The Korean wave – commonly known as Hallyu – became a full-blown global phenomenon as it made its prominence known. Starting from the entertainment field – filling the streaming platform Netflix with unique Korean dramas, down to the cosmetics industry with its intricate skincare regimen. But at the heart of its growing presence in the global community is its music – the well-acclaimed Korean pop music or K-pop.

A Hidden Safe Haven

Hallyu has been around for almost two decades now but K-pop in particular, have accumulated a global audience in the past five to ten years.  With several second generation artists hitting the Billboard Hot 100 chart, its exports have spearheaded its growth into a $5 billion industry.

Their distinctive blend of melodies, well-choreographed dances, dazzling productions and eye-catching performers, have allowed them to become a global phenomenon. Surpassing language barriers and cultural differences, their music have helped them connect with the rest of the world.

As their audience grows larger, talks of diversity and inclusivity come in. With the country’s conservative nature, their following couldn’t help but wonder just how open the industry is to other cultures.

Transnationality

Though experts admit that prejudice towards foreigners remain to be rampant in the country due to its traditional customs, it can’t be denied that the country is going through its multicultural phase and in response to this, they have become more accommodating to its neighbors.

Not only are we seeing large numbers of different races within South Korea’s current population, the same diversity is now being seen in the K-pop industry as several multinational groups emerge.

The popular girl-group Momoland that made breakthrough success earlier this year with their third mini album “Great!” and its title track “Bboom Bboom” is proof that with inclusivity comes success. The band’s youngest member, Nancy Jewel McDonie, is a half-American, half-Korean, 18 year old who grew up in the province of Daegu. Though her father is American, she grew up to be more fluent in her mother’s dialect. Nancy and the rest of the members of the band is well-received by the local audience as well as their global fan base.

But Momoland wasn’t the first group to introduce non-Korean idols. JYP Entertainment’s GOT7, introduced 3 of its foreign members hailing from Hong Kong, Taiwan and Thailand during their debut. The boys garnered global success 4 years since their debut and is well-loved by the Korean public.

Admittedly, the bigotry is still there but compared to the earlier generations, today’s Korean public have grown to be more open to diversity.

K-pop Diversity and Creativity

The advantages brought upon by inclusivity and creativity can be observed not just in today’s global music industry.

Simply take a good look at today’s workforce. The changing way of working has opened the general public’s mind to the different ways of efficient working. The movement of shared offices or coworking spaces taught us to embrace the unique workings of productivity. Though several experts would suggest that there seems to be a pattern or a way to hack utmost efficiency, it may not be effective for each one of us. Some might need flexibility or creative freedom to produce innovative ideas. Hence, these open layout offices aims to cater to those with peculiar ways of harnessing productivity.

Its success shows that it’s not bad to open up ourselves to the unusual. Just as how the rest of the world warmly embraced the Hallyu wave.

Talk to us today and we’ll show you a different way of being productive.

Saving a Coworker: How Managers Can Help People Who Lost Motivation

Saving a Coworker: How Managers Can Help People Who Lost Motivation

At some point in our career, we meet individuals – sometimes, even groups of people – who lost motivation towards their work. Though we understand the struggle of losing interest, we can’t help but feel frustrated. We find it hard to sympathize with coworkers who become unproductive due to how disengaged they are. We tend to forget what it felt like when we were there and we would often end up being unkind to them, wishing they would just suck it up and snap out of it.

Leaders are prone to falling into this mindset. But what most managers don’t know is that these kinds of approach are usually counterproductive. It’s a band aid solution that ignores the underlying reasons as to why people lose passion for what they do.

The reality is, in order for managements to find the root of the problem, they have to know that it’s crucial to understand the need of humans to feel motivated and to find meaning in the things that they do. It’s simply part of our biology. As a matter of fact, there’s a certain part of our brain commonly known as the seeking system. This specific section creates natural impulses to learn new things and to take challenging yet very meaningful tasks. And whenever this urge is satisfied, we receive a jolt of dopamine – the neurotransmitter responsible for motivation and pleasure – making us want more engagement to these kinds of activities. And, whenever our seeking systems are stimulated, we become more motivated and feel purposeful as well as zestful. We feel even more alive.

In an ideal circumstance, we should be able to freely explore, experiment, and learn – this should be our way of living and working. But the harsh reality is that a majority of us are members of organizations who each have their respective restrictions that prevents us from doing so.

When we’re left in a box with no room for growth and learning, we tend to shut down – a reaction we are engineered to have. It’s our body’s way of saying “we’re meant for better things”. Our brains are basically telling us that we’re wasting our potential.

Activating your employee’s seeking system is one of the biggest keys in bringing back their motivation. The question now is how should managers do it? Surely there are road blocks in the way – many of which are beyond control. Admittedly, it’s almost impossible to ignore these metrics and other bureaucratic red tapes but despite of this, there are ways in which we can stimulate the aforementioned structure without creating too much of a change in the organization.

With three small but significant steps to triggering employee’s seeking systems: encouraging them to play around their strengths, creating opportunities for experiments, and helping them personalize the purpose of their work.

Promoting Self Expression

Philosophers through the decades have emphasized the human mind’s innate drive to showcase their true selves to those around them. Yet despite of this notion, the working industry have ignored our desire for self-expression.

Regardless of the progress we’ve made in our way of working – the rise of remote workers, the growing population of coworking spaces and how the industry is now lauding creativity and innovations – there’s still administrative positions, inflexible roles and standard evaluation systems that creates anxiety instead of excitement.

Allowing talents to think for themselves and utilize their respective unique skills, their seeking systems are activated. They feel more alive when they feel that they have a larger role to play in the company.

Experimenting

Another way of activating the aforementioned system is creating “safe zones” wherein they can experiment, play, and have supportive social bonding.

Not only to these zones elicit positive emotions, it also creates intrinsic motivations that can unleash creativity. Organizations become more agile when they encourage employees to look for new approaches and allow them to test it out as well as letting them learn through feedback sharing.

Research have said that framing change and innovation as an opportunity for experimentation and learning instead of viewing it as a performance situation is actually better.

Greater Purpose and Motivation

The sense of a greater purpose doesn’t just revolve around solving global problems like curing epidemics or changing the world. It can also start with seeing how our input contributes something greater. We find our jobs purposeful when we learn how we affect the team’s progress.

Why Encouraging Conflict is Needed in Fostering Collaboration

Why Encouraging Conflict is Needed in Fostering Collaboration

In an ideal world, each one of us would agree with one another. We wouldn’t have painful arguments or conflicts that would later create more damaging issues. We would be in harmonious circumstances, happily going on our own ways.

Realistically speaking, this ideology is impossible to achieve. Whenever we force each other to agree with one another, the more we grow farther apart.

This idyllic expectation of sunshine and rainbows is crushing collaboration. Instead of being the messy back-and-forth process it naturally is, we force it to become harmonious. We expect everyone to concur and be supportive towards everyone yet this constant desire hinders partnerships in fulfilling its promises of greater innovation and improved risk moderation. At its universal form, collaboration coincides with healthy conflict.

Conflict and Collaboration

A large majority of us have been taught to see collaboration and conflict as two different things.  The common narrative for teams include perfect synchronization and tight formation. As players gathered in one team, you should “all be in the same boat” and to be a good member, you must “row in the same direction” but contrary to popular belief, these dreamy visions of what a team should be is what weakens them.

Nothing is perfect. In collaboration, tension, disagreement and conflict is needed in order to improve the value of an idea. It helps expose the risk of a plan and leads to an enriched trust among the participants.

It’s high time that managements change their mindsets towards conflict. They should start letting go of the idea that it is destructive and embrace its potential to be productive. Moving beyond clichés and daydreams, the activity of collaboration becomes excessive if you only resort to agreeing. American writer and political commentator Walter Lippmann did say, “Where all think alike, no one thinks very much.” In order to make the most out of it, divergence is needed before convergence.

But much to our dismay, our antipathy towards discords is embedded so deep into our thoughts that it takes a great deal of effort to encourage even the most modest disagreements. Though there are certain steps that teams can take in order to develop productive friction when it’s needed.

Encouraging Conflict

First, it’s important for teams to discuss and recognize the different roles of each member and emphasize what each position brings to the project.  Explain how they each contribute to different agendas. Having good composition allows groups to normalize the tension collaboration naturally brings. Fighting for the best solution possible becomes a norm and gives people a new perspective on disagreement with colleagues.

Secondly, the use of personality or style assessment tools helps figure out the differences in each individual. Other than that of stemming from their respective jobs, each member will have a different view on things depending on their personalities. This would help you foresee any personality related conflict that could arise.

Lastly, in order to normalize and encourage productive conflict, teams should establish sets of ground rules around discord. Figure out behaviors that create positive contributions and separate those that detract from it. It’s important to paint a clear picture of what is, and is not, acceptable behavior to the rest of the team.

It also helps to define processes so that you will have a more-frequent or more-effective conflict.

Admittedly, it’s not enough to simply just follow the aforementioned techniques. Changing people’s mindset towards conflict and disagreement goes beyond. Some teams even go as far as joining coworking spaces to gain brand new perspective. These shared offices take pride in the great communities they create. Its open layout encourages open communication and the diversity of its members shows that there is beauty in each one’s differences.

Little Dreamer, Stop Wasting Time and Start Giving Yourself a Try

Why You Should Stop Wasting Time and Give Yourself a Try

I am twenty-six days away from being officially, truly, a twenty-one year old.

It doesn’t sound weird to other people, but boy, does it seem bizarre to me.

See, six years ago, I firmly believed I would never make it to nineteen – much less, sixteen, if I’m frankly speaking – but here I am, a twenty-year old girl who once believed that the end of the line lingers near. Now I am sitting in front of  a computer – with a regular job.

Somehow, I’m still anticipating the moment when everything is full and it’s finally the time to cut it all out. Yet unlike my younger counter part, I can confidently say that I’m relatively smarter than her. With a braver heart, a clearer perspective and a deeper comprehension of what truly matters in life, I’d say that I’ve learned a couple of things when I got to this age.

Like, true friends don’t lie and not everything that they think important isn’t actually important.

And, time, really, is of the essence.

As cheesy as it may sound, it is true.

Over cups of coffee and late night sessions of breakdowns, I’ve come to realize just how important it is to have a deep understanding of one’s existence. Hate to be the one to break the bad news, but we humans are only here for an ample amount of time and the bitter reality we oh so love to ignore is that anytime – and I mean, anytime – everything around us could disappear.

In the grand scheme of things, our lives are simply drops of water in the ocean. And because of the relatively limited time we have, shouldn’t we squeeze the most joy out if it? Why are we wasting time over things that make us unhappy and overworked? Why can’t we simply choose what fulfills us and be truly happy?

This is the one thing that a majority of us fears – choosing our career.

Some of us choose to follow the degree we worked so hard on, while some chose to stay away. Where do I belong between the two? Right in the middle.

I didn’t exactly stuck by my degree but I didn’t veer too away from it. Did everyone agree to it? Of course not.

To them, the idea seemed preposterous. Higher education has the tendency to scare us away from doing something courageous. And we, too, get easily anxious with the idea of putting ourselves at the mercy of other people’s opinions – it gives them a power over us that isn’t easy to reclaim.

So instead of simply doing what makes them happy, majority of my folks simply settle.

Unlike most of them, I’ve already made up my mind before I even got up that stage to get my certificate – I cannot, and will not, let myself be glued to a job that I despise.

Yes, not everyone agreed with the decisions I’ve made and yes, I was terrified of handing my creative sanity to another person’s hand but I’ve made the conscious choice of not putting myself through years and years of possible misery.

It wasn’t easy – but then again, nothing is ever easy.

I stopped wasting time and gave myself a try. Because, truthfully, we can never ever tell what would happen next. Our fears and anxieties are most definitely there but sometimes, they’re just vague foresights of what the future might hold.

Whenever I talk to close friends – or anyone close to my age, to be honest – I always try and remind them that their future lies in their hands. That everyone has strong opinions but it doesn’t necessarily make them true.

So why not just do what truly makes you happy? If sticking with your Law degree and slowly making your way to that sweet position of a judge fills your heart with warmth, go do it. And if making content for Youtube makes you smile, do it.

What they say don’t matter; because for one, it’s your life and two, there’s plenty of opinions around but it’s not always right.

Our generation is pretty lucky. Lucky in a sense that, the mindset towards work is changing. Digital nomads are ruling the workforce and traditions such as nine-to-five jobs and ordinary offices are now replaced by flexible time and coworking spaces that inspire people to be themselves. A community lies within these shared offices whose sole purpose for existing is to become a support group to everyone who made the brave choice of doing what they love. We’re not alone anymore. You and I, have become part of something larger than ourselves.

The older generation have managed to give us the freedom that they never have. And though the stigma to these non-traditional trends still remains, everything seems possible – that is, of course, if you put your mind into it.

Go, give yourself a try.

Who knows what the future entails for you, little dreamer. And if it still scares you, talk to us today and we’ll give you a few words of encouragement.

Questions To Ask Your New Found Friend: Making Conversations

Questions To Ask Your New Found Friend: Making Conversations

So you’ve recently joined your very first coworking space! You’ve gotten to know the work area – where the private offices are, the café and snack bar, as well as the usual schedule of the daily pool tournament. Despite of this, there’s one more thing left to do now that you’ve settled down; making friends.

We’ve all been in the awkward situation of being the new person – a fish out of water to simply put. Usually taking place at networking events, industry conferences, charity events, dinner parties, and other social-professional circumstances, we are often forced to build our rapport quickly. Like any other human being, we attempt breaking the silence by asking:

“So, what do you do?”

It’s a pretty standard question, we think to ourselves. A large majority of us – if not, I think almost everyone – believes that talking about one’s respective work is one of the best way to build a connection with someone we recently met. But in reality, it’s actually the opposite – in fact, it’s best to avoid this exact topic.

Multiplex Ties

According to experts from network science and psychology, humans tend to seek out relationships that has more than one context for connecting with another person. Known as multiplex ties among sociologist, these are connections that has overlapping roles or affiliations from different social contexts. For example, if a coworker happens to live in the same condominium as you or you both go to the same gyms, it means that you share a multiplex tie.

Experts believe that the reason we prefer these kinds of connections is because of the ideology that relationships built on multiplex ties tend to be richer, more trustworthy, and longer lasting. This can be observed in our daily lives: those coworkers who also happen to be actual friends is far more likely to be with you should one of you decide to change careers. This goes the other way too, those who have at least one actual friend at work are prone to liking their jobs more.

Analysis of Common Questions

Going back to the question “What do you do?” why shouldn’t we use this as an opener?

Say you’re already attending a work-related gathering or simply meeting a new individual under the context of work, it quickly sets a boundary in the conversation that he or she is simply a “work” contact. Though yes, there’s a possibility of discovering another commonality between the two of you but the chance of the conversation heading towards the aforementioned direction is slim to none.

So instead, consider starting with questions that are deliberately non-work related. Trust that the context of the conversation will eventually go back to work-related topics.

Here are some questions that you can use to start conversations with and will hopefully help you discover more commonalties and even gain you a new friend:

• What excites you right now?

This question opens up a wide range of possible answers. In addition to this, it gives the person the freedom to talk about work, kids, or simply anything that excites them.

• What are you looking forward to?

This works for the same reason mentioned earlier but is far more forward-looking than backward looking. This gives the person a bigger set of possible answers.

• What’s the best thing that happened to you this year?

Similar to the aforementioned two questions but is more backward-looking than forward. Regardless, it’s once again an open-ended question that gives others plentiful of answers to choose from.

• Where did you grow up?

Though this question dives into one’s backgrounds, it’s a much less assertive than asking where they came from. It allows them to answer with simple details of their childhood or engage the story of how they got where they are and what they’re doing.

• What do you do for fun?

As expected, this steers the discussion from work – unless of course they are lucky enough land a job that they’d be doing for fun. Yet in the end, it’s the type of question that will stir non-work answers.

 

These examples of open-ended questions help create multiplex ties in relationship – a concept that coworking spaces often cultivate. These shared offices are designed to create new connections in different circumstances and environments.

Looking Through Rose-Colored Glasses: Forced Workplace Positivity

Looking Through Rose-Colored Glasses: Forced Workplace Positivity

Over the recent years, much emphasis have been given to the importance of keeping one’s employees happy. With several literatures on how it affects their work performance and tenure, it got organizations in a frenzy to turn their working environments upside down. Tech conglomerate Google has installed slides in its Zurich office while online retailer Zappos have encouraged some of its workers to dress up as their favorite animal on certain days. Fussball as well as pool tables and other gaming facilities can now be found in several contemporary offices – proof that organizations are going great lengths just to make their talents happier in order for them to work longer hours and be more productive.

The aforementioned ideology roots way back during the 1930s. Little do managements know that you can’t force everything to be rose-colored. The moment that you start coercing, it creates a crack in the system that could cause a greater gap in the long run.

You Can’t Always Be Rose-Colored, In General

From inspirational Instagram accounts to self-help books teaching us how to harness perpetual positivity, everyone – literally, everyone­ – is berating us to “look on the brighter side”. Though statements of the same nature are usually said in with good intent, there is a truth that is hard to accept for a majority of us; that not everyone wears their rose-colored glasses everywhere.

In fact, science says that in order for us to actually be happy, we need to take them off once in a while

Danish psychology professor Svend Brinkmann says that forcing ourselves – and other people – to be consistently cheerful creates more damage than good.

Of course, he takes into consideration that there are individuals who carry a brighter outlook in life than most. Yet at the same time, he acknowledges the dangers of forcing other people to be rose-colored.

When happiness becomes a constant necessity, it hinders us from the ability to cope during or after bad situations. Brinkmann adds we should be able to feel what we feel whenever unfortunate events happen. Fear, anxiety, sadness, and all the other similar negative feelings are the necessary evil that life comes with. We need to be open to dark times so that when they happen – and they will, as he says – it won’t strike us as intense as it would if we’re accustomed to nothing but pure positivity.

Forcing Happiness at Work

Brinkmann adds that when a company turns their employees’ happiness into commodities, they are exploiting them as humans who carry emotions. Hence, it’s not safe to simply settle on a one-size-fits-all solution.

If managements want to really increase the engagement of their talents and keep them upbeat, they shouldn’t just settle on bandaid solutions. It’s detrimental that companies view their workforce as complex human beings instead of oversimplifying their emotions. This means creating a proper dialogue with them in order to consider their individual needs.

When you enforce employees to “smile their worries away”, we are banning the negative emotions they need to truly deal with difficult circumstances. Therefore, creating a deeper emotional damage.

Authenticity

As mentioned earlier, organizations are encouraged to take a deeper look on what would make their employees happier. Each workforce would have a different view on what can cheer them up and some would simply be downbeat interventions. Overall, organizations shouldn’t force feed happiness. Instead, they should focus on looking for different ways of reaching the needs of each talent.

For one, allowing some employees to work from their respective homes can be a good start. And if your management is feeling a bit generous, maybe you can give certain teams access to coworking spaces for all the hard work they have been doing.

These shared offices gives members the chance to work in a much more lax environment and allows them to concentrate and work on projects on their own pace – a perk that satisfies a majority of workers.

The reality that not everyone can – or should – be always positive or happy is quite hard to accept for most people but a person’s happiness is more than just vodka shots or slides. Don’t reconstruct so easily, talk to us today and we’ll help you find a desk for your unhappy employee.