Take a minute right now. Get yourself a sheet of paper and a pencil or pen.
Yes, do this right now before you read on.
Then draw a tree. When you have finished your tree, you can read further.
Having done this with groups before, we can tell you with some certainty what you see in front of you.
If you are like most people you will have drawn a wonderful tree from the perspective of the ground upward.
This tree has a lot in common with many people you see in workplaces all around the world. You see the tree from the ground up, and you see the physical presence of the people in your workplace, on the shop floor, in their cubicles and offices.
Did you know that in most parts of the world, the amount of biomass of the roots of a tree is at least as much as what we see above ground? In other words, when we are looking at a tree, we are only seeing half of it.
So it is with people. There is much more to us than what can be seen.
Unfortunately, too many people choose to bring their physical selves (their hands), and even their mental selves (their heads) to work (if they didn’t they likely wouldn’t have the job for long), but leave a huge portion – their emotional selves (their hearts) at home.
What do you bring to work every day with you? If you don’t bring your heart, you are missing tremendous opportunities.
Here are five reasons why you should bring your whole self, heart included, to work each day.
1# You’ll have more energy
We strip ourselves of a major energy stream when we disconnect our emotions when we leave for work. Our heart can provide a deep reservoir that we can tap into if we have a belief in what we are doing. This doesn’t have to be a one-way energy flow, however. When we are fully engaged in our work, we have more energy to use, but more flows back to us as well.
2# You’ll be healthier
When you bring your whole self to your efforts, you will be richly repaid in more than energy alone. That energy will translate to greater health.
3# You’ll have more enthusiasm
Dale Carnegie said, “Act enthusiastic and you’ll be enthusiastic.” It is true. Enthusiasm doesn’t come from our hands or heads. Enthusiasm comes from our heart. Let your passions loose! Let your enthusiasm for a project show! You’ll be amazed at how this can change your entire outlook and performance at work.
4# You’ll get more done
Think about it. When do you get more done? When you look at your list of tasks and breathe a heavy sigh, or when you are jazzed about a particular project? You know the answer. What is the difference? Your heart and soul. There is no doubt that you will be more productive, alone, in a team or when leading others if you put your heart into your work.
5# You’ll have more fun
When you allow yourself to fully engage with your work, you will find opportunities for great enjoyment.
Are we suggesting we all become workaholics? Not at all. Quite the opposite. When we bring our full selves to our work and gain all of the benefits above we will probably not work any longer. We may work harder, but we will work smarter. And we’ll enjoy all of it much more.
James Patrick Dunne wrote a poem that became the lyrics to a song recorded by Kenny Rogers and is the Official USA Gymnastics Olympic Theme Song. The chorus summarizes why you should bring your heart to work each day…
When you put your heart in it It can take you anywhere Who’s to say that we can't make it It's the same dream that we share When you put your heart in it It can take you anywhere