Just because you’re in the professional world doesn’t mean that it can’t be a spiritual journey. There are simple, practical strategies to make your job an expression of service and devotion. This article outlines some ways to transform your everyday work into a spiritual quest – from physical activities to more philosophical approaches – so that you can make your modern job a ministry. By utilizing meditation, prayer, gratitude, and values-driven leadership, you can start making a difference in the lives of those around you. You don’t need to change jobs or careers; instead try applying some spiritual practices too your existing role so that it becomes something more meaningful and transformative.
1. Identify Your Purpose of Work.
What is your purpose in life? Not what you think your career is going to look like or what job you want, but what will give meaning to the work that you do each day. We need goals and aspirations that can guide us as we go through different life stages, jobs, careers, and even countries. It may be hard to identify this at first but it’s a process that becomes easier over time. What are things in your life right now that make them meaningful? How might they be even more meaningful if they were pursued for the purpose of serving others ?
2. Practice the Art of Listening.
Listening can be one of the most powerful tools in our lives. It allows us to connect with others and to understand them better, and it is a prerequisite for meaningful conversations. The next time you’re in a conversation, try this exercise: make a point to listen without interjecting your own opinions or observations into the conversation. Let people speak without interruption and see what happens. If they need more than five seconds after they finish speaking before you respond, chances are you are interrupting them too much! Once you get comfortable with listening without interrupting, , you will notice that you are able to understand what people are saying and allow them to feel heard.
3. Practice the Art of Speaking.
Speaking does not come easily for most of us, especially those with social anxiety, but it is a skill we must hone in order to use our voice and improve our relationships with others. Make a point to speak up at meetings or conversations when something needs clarification or your opinion on the matter needs to be made known. If you’re afraid of making mistakes, try speaking about things in group settings before moving into one-on-one interactions where mistakes could cause more harm or embarrassment.
4. Get up and Move.
In the age of computer screens, it’s easy to feel as though you’re glued to your chair all day. But getting up and moving throughout the day gives you a chance to break away from your desk for a few minutes and clear your mind. When you come back to work, try taking some time at lunch or during a break to take an active walk around the office or outside. You can also use this as an opportunity to be social. Take your coworker with you on that walk.
5. Be more physically affectionate.
You might think that being physical affectionate is reserved only for romantic relationships, but anyone can benefit from this practice — whether they’re dating or not. Some ways to express physical affection are by touching or holding hands, a non-sexual hug, and kissing on the forehead or the cheek. You might also want to hold eye contact throughout any physical interaction you have with another person to acknowledge that they exist. Remember to be mindful of context and your level of closeness with the other person. Don’t be inappropriate. Ask if its ok. Just because they hugged you yesterday doesn’t mean they want a hug today.
6. Be open about your faith.
You don’t have to store pamphlets and your bible in your desk. You don’t have to constantly mention you’re a christian. HOWEVER, You do have to make yourself available to help when others are hurt and grieving. You are the hands and feet of Christ, so you can and SHOULD conduct yourself accordingly. Send a sympathy card. Send a get well card. Go see your hospitalized coworker. You don’t have to say a word about your faith when you get there either. Just be a light. Just be a comfort.
In sum, the first part of being more spiritual in the workplace is connecting with God. Meditation, prayer yoga, etc those are all to keep in contact with God. But then we are called to also connect with others.