Chocolate Chip Cookies and What They Are Telling Us



Ok, so admittedly, I am sitting here taking a little breather and eating my 4th, or is it 10th (?) chocolate chip cookie of the day. Its not quite as enjoyable as the first, but I know I will eat it anyway. Oh, you ask, Why is it not as good as the first? Well, it is because this one cant be rationalized away this one is just plain over-the-top, filled with guilt, packed with pain and too much of a good thing.

Well, now that we are all clear on my addiction of choice. Lets look at what the cookies are dying for me to know, and what your indulgences want you to know as well.

We all have out little indulgences in the work place, which take us away from our work for a moment and allow us to mentally take a break. Whether it is the extra 10 minutes we spend chatting with a co-worker about her love life, the couple of extra personal calls we make each day, the extra hour we take for lunch, or maybe its just gossiping about how Mary is taking an extra hour for her lunch. Any one of these little breathers alone, like that first chocolate chip cookie, can be rationalized away and can even be a little bit of a good thing. They are indulgences that make us feel better in the moment.

We all know that it is ok to indulge once in a while, or what the heck, once a day everyone needs a little breather to pick ourselves up. It is when we have hit our 10th indulgence of the day that we have to take a more serious look at why it is we are driven to indulge.

If we are over indulging in one thing, then we can be sure we are disengaging from something else. Indulgence is the symptom, not the problem. The real problem is that we are disengaging from our work and there is a reason we have made this choice. It is a choice that many more people are making and when professionals disengage from their work we all pay the price. Disengaged workers miss 3.5 more days of work per year than average employees. In addition, a study by Robert Hall International shows that two months of the average workers year is wasted time, costing business a total of $1.5 billion in lost time.

There are many reasons why we disengage; my reason du jour is creative avoidance. If Im eating a cookie, I dont have to write an article. However, more and more frequently we are seeing that workers disengage because they have lost their passion for their work, or worse yet they never felt the passion to begin with.

Passion is lost when we are not working in our gifts and strengths. If you were created to be a teacher and share your love of learning with the world, no matter how hard you try you will never feel passion when you are selling office equipment. Conversely, the born sales person will never feel their passion teaching history to the next generation.

The problem is that even after we have heard what the chocolate chip cookies are trying to tell us, many of us remain stuck in the cycle of indulgence. Yes, you heard your 10th cookie telling you that you dont want to sell any more copiers, but you ignore that little voice because you dont know how to put away the cookies and find your true passion.

Well, that is one of the purposes of career coaching. Career coaches act as guides on a journey of greater self-awareness and clarity. Coaches help you to find your true passion, and then help you to create an action plan to get from where you are to where you want to be in your career and in your life. Once you are working in your strengths you will find you are fully engaged in your work, loving what you do each day, and you havent eaten your 10th chocolate chip cookie in weeks.

To find out how a coach can help you to identify your passion and strengths and then guide you in creating an action plan to get to where you were always meant to be, contact SmartWork Career Coaching @ sfreiberg@verizon.net. One of our Career or Executive Coaches will be happy to discuss your coaching options.

Suzanne Freiberg, with 20 years of executive experience, founded SmartWork Career Coaching to empower women to make the changes necessary to become break through leaders. She has received extensive training in emotional intelligence; leadership development; and managing stress for executives. She is a Certified Career Coach and a Certified Executive Coach, as well as a member of the International Coach Federation.

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