Inspiration

Start Over at Work, in Life: The Best Ways to Begin Again

Easter is a great time to reflect, even if you’re not religious.
IMAGE DENYS NEVOZHAI/ UNSPLASH
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As a predominantly Catholic country, every year, the Philippines joyously celebrates Easter Sunday, marking the day Jesus of Nazareth is believed to have resurrected from the dead.

Beyond the religious and mystical elements, the concept of resurrection also carries the hopeful idea that death does not have the final say. Even when it seems like it’s all over, it isn’t. The best is still yet to be.

Of course, it doesn’t have to be as dramatic as death itself. It could also mean the death of who you are right now to make way for a new and improved you. Easier said than done. There’s always that tension between who one is and who one wants to be. 

In the spirit of the season, here are some simple ways you can begin again this Easter:

Starting anew with work: ending tardiness

Are you that one employee who’s always late? Or maybe you feel you’re underperforming? No shame in admitting it. In fact, it’s when a person admits to a problem that they can begin to solve it.

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Think about your relationship with your work. Does it align with your passion or is it just about the paycheck? How you perceive your job affects everything else. After all, if you dread your work, you won’t really have much motivation to wake up early in the morning or to do your best. When you spend most of your waking life working, it’s important you’re in an environment where you can flourish. Being late or underperforming can damage your career (and your paycheck).

If you’re fortunate enough to be at a job you like, check other factors like how far you live from work and how you get to work. Ideally, get a place closer to your work place so you don't have to waste time traveling. If you can't, find a way to make the ride more pleasant. If you're a passenger, catch up on more sleep. Or try listening to good music or maybe an engaging podcast to get yourself psyched for the workday.

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At work befriend your colleagues and your boss. Often, people are just waiting for others to make that first move to socialize. Having friends at work is a good motivator. Just don’t forget that you’re there to work and not to hang out.

Starting anew with your relationship: ending monotony

Let’s get one thing clear: Love and infatuation are related but ultimately different. Love is more than just feelings. Often, relationships form during the giddy “honeymoon” period when everything is la vie en rose. But over time, the rose-tinted glasses come off and the spark dies out. The relationship starts to feel boring and stale. This happens when one or more person in the relationship becomes complacent and treats the other person as a given. This can grow toxic, leading to disagreements.

Things don’t have to be that way. There are countless ways to spice up a stale relationship. Just remember the adage: Variety is the spice of life. Go on a romantic date, take an out-of-town vacation, or pick up a new sport or hobby together.

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When the relationship feels dull and dead, it’s an opportunity to experiment and grow. Communicate and be open. With mutual consent, the relationship can be rekindled through all sorts of wild and crazy ideas.

Of course, ending the relationship is always an option, especially if it’s burdensome or even harmful. After all, a relationship depends on choice. That is to say, loving a person is about choosing them constantly. If the choice isn’t a good one, then it’s time to move on.

Starting anew with your health: ending unhealthy habits

It’s been three months since the New Year. How are your resolutions holding up? Are “eat less junk food” or “exercise more often” among them? Whether you’re doing well or have fallen off the wagon, one thing is for sure: taking care of one’s health is difficult. Eating healthy and exercising regularly takes a lot of discipline. It involves avoiding the path of least resistance and humans are creatures of habit.

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There are plenty of diets and exercise programs out there. It’s important to make sure they’re practical. That means they shouldn't get in the way of other aspects of your life. Not much sense in starving yourself if it means being unable to work properly.

The best diet and exercise programs are ones that are sustainable. Instead of making healthy habits a seasonal thing, you should be able to integrate them into your life. Maybe it means distancing yourself from your drink-happy workmates. Maybe it means making less frequent trips to the grocery store. Maybe it means cooking your own meals instead of relying on dining out. Of course, it won't be easy. Building a new lifestyle also means overwriting the current one. However, when you emerge from the transition to a new lifestyle, it will make exponential improvements in the long run.

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Starting anew with yourself: ending self-doubt

Sometimes, we become our own worst enemies, our harshest critics. This can lead to anxiety and an inability to act for fear of failure and criticism.

The feeling of failure is an all too familiar feeling to many of us. From having a failed relationship to messing up big time in a job, everyone stumbles at some point. It can be embarrassing. It can be painful. And in a world that puts so much responsibility on the individual, it can be downright traumatizing.

While not all failures are entirely one’s fault, how a person deals with them is another ballgame. In the wake of failure, it’s easy to sink into a pit of pity and regret. But in the words of author Aldous Huxley, “Rolling in the muck is not the best way of getting clean.”

Failure doesn’t have to be the end. Countless motivational speakers hail failure as the best teacher. Instead of condemning oneself a failure, it’s best to simply accept that mistakes happen.

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Criticism should be graciously accepted by not taken too much to heart. Criticism is all about improving and doing better. The discomfort one feels in criticism is the pain of giving way to improvements.

Self-doubt is normal. However, it shouldn’t be a barrier between you and what you want to do. Even when the results aren’t what you hoped they would be, it doesn’t mean that they will always be that way. Treat them as another part of the process.

Carry on

Starting anew is in no way easy. It is killing off one’s old self to make way for a better self. This is the nature of transitioning between who you are and who you want to be.

In modern parlance, when a person dies, people say he has “passed away” or “passed on.” The Greek word for Easter is “Pascha” which means “pass over,” connecting the Catholic holiday to its roots. All of this points to the idea that death, whether physical or otherwise, can simply be a transition process. Transitions are painful, but they’re the only way through to what’s next.

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It’s never too late to start anew. Even if you believe in an afterlife, you don’t have to wait for death to start over.

The cycle of ending and restarting doesn’t have to be some kind of Nietzschean nightmare. Things do change. It’s not a circle, but a spiral, getting better with each revolution. 

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Rucha Lim
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