Recenntly, I read an interesting book written by John Maxwell entitled Be a People Person. I’m not sure what made me read this book but I’m glad I did because I really enjoyed reading it and I learned a lot of valuable lessons from it on how to be happy by relating effectively with others. According to this book, “Perspective, or the way we see ourselves and others, is crucial in order to have a good relationship with other people.”
I find this lesson very timely and relevant to me because to be honest, I’ve been experiencing difficulty in dealing with some people at work lately to the point that I’m starting to become resentful towards them. Because of this, even my performance gets affected.
One of my most favorite parts of the book was the discussion on how to love difficult people. According to the author, when you realize that people treat you according to how they see themselves rather than how you really are, you are less likely to be affected. In other words, when you learn to put yourself in other people’s shoes, you will understand why certain people don’t act the way you expect them to be, hence, it will be less likely for you to get hurt by the way they treat you.
This truth reminded me of the conversation I had with my former Director a few days ago. It was me who actually requested an appointment with her to seek her godly counsel. Because she’s a Christian and because of her long time experience in working in our agency, I thought that she would be the right person to help me and give me a better perspective on how to deal with my current work struggles more appropriately. So even though it was kind of embarrassing for me to ask a former boss to listen to my ranting, I took a bold step to ask her. Fortunately, she gladly obliged with my request and I’m really thankful because the almost two-hour conversation with her was truly a fruitful one. Her insights on how she had managed to stay in our organization for twenty years, despite the odds of our work, provided me a better perspective on my current struggles at work. Consequently, that better perspective helped me realize my own mistakes and my wrong attitude towards the people who have hurt me. Since then, I decided to change my mindset and attitude towards them.
So what are the things that I learned from my conversation with my former boss that helped me change my perspective? There are actually two things that I learned from her. First, it’s to never compare people (in this case, bosses and co-workers) because they are different individuals. One of the reasons for my struggle at work is the change in leadership. I realized that I was struggling because I kept on comparing my current leader with the former one. But because they are two different individuals, my expectations are not often met so I ended up feeling frustrated. Second, it’s to find a solid ground by offering your work as your personal ministry to the Lord. She told me that what makes her stay that long in her former job is because she always seeks God whenever she feels that she wants to find a new job. And every time God would say ‘stay’, she would stay and do her job with love. From her sharing, I realized I needed to change the way I viewed my work– it’s a God-given task and submission to delegated authority is also submission to God. Because He gave me the opportunity to be in my current workplace, I still need to submit to my superiors and do my work excellently.
True enough, my change in attitude immediately brought a positive result for me. I stopped grumbling and complaining about my work and I suddenly found the peace that I’ve been looking for. Though admittedly, I I haven’t been healed completely, I know that I’m on my way to full restoration because I am starting to find joy in the simple things in my work again.
This brings me to this conclusion– happiness is found when you learn to change the way you think.