Have you ever felt burnt out from work because you were too emotionally invested in a project?
Or on the other hand, have you ever felt unfulfilled because you lacked a connection to the work you were doing? Finding the balance between being invested and interested in our work can be a challenge, but it’s essential for both success and happiness in the workplace.
In this post, I thought we could explore the concept of being “interested” versus “invested,” and how finding the sweet spot between the two can lead to a more fulfilling work experience.
Investment in the work we do is crucial for a sense of fulfillment, but it also comes with its own set of challenges. When we’re invested in our work, our emotional connection to it can cause us to feel the highs and lows of the project. One moment we’re thrilled with progress, and the next we feel deflated by setbacks. It can be exhausting to ride this emotional rollercoaster, and in some cases, it can lead to burnout or disengagement from the project or even the business altogether.
On the other hand, being interested in the work we do can keep us at a safe distance from the emotional ups and downs. We may not feel as emotionally attached to the project, but we can still find fulfillment in the work itself. However, this detached approach can also lead to a lack of motivation or a sense of disconnection from the work. It’s what I sometimes think of as a transactional relationship with work.
So, where is the sweet spot between investment and interest? How can we find the balance that leads to both happiness and success in the workplace? The answer lies in aligning our values with our work. When we’re working towards a goal that’s in line with our personal values and beliefs, we naturally become more invested in the project. We care about the outcome, not just because it’s our job, but because it aligns with our own sense of purpose.
In addition to aligning our values with our work, it’s also essential to set healthy boundaries. Being invested doesn’t mean we need to work ourselves into the ground and sacrifice our personal lives and physical/emotional well-being. Take breaks, both physically and mentally, and find ways to recharge our batteries. Rest isn’t separate from work, it’s part of it. He’s a nice equation I learned from Brad Stulberg – Stress + rest = growth. Remember – We’re more effective and productive when we’re rested and relaxed.
Finally, it’s essential to have a growth mindset when it comes to our work. In fact, I’d add a Craftsman mindset to that too. We may encounter setbacks and failures along the way, but these are opportunities for learning and growth. By embracing disappointment, notice I didn’t call it a failure, as a chance to improve, we can shift our perspective and become even more invested. When we learn to see progress and success as a journey, rather than a destination, we remain engaged and interested in the work.
The key to finding a balance between investment and interest in the workplace is in aligning our values with our work, setting healthy boundaries, and maintaining a growth mindset.
By doing so, we can remain connected to the work we do, while also avoiding burnout and disengagement. It’s not always easy to find this balance, but with effort and intention, we can create a fulfilling work experience that leads to both happiness and success.