Our brains are reward driven. While in the workforce, our reward system is fed by many things; pride in our work, money, competition, fear, power, loyalty and many others.
When we leave the workforce, these rewards disappear. A couple of months after my beverage company failed. I decided to revamp the company’s homepage into a positive news blog. I wrote a couple of articles and posted them on the company’s Facebook page.
Suddenly, I was getting likes from complete strangers. It may seem insignificant, but having complete strangers “like” something I had written, gave me the sense of satisfaction.
Until you get the ultimate satisfaction of finding a new job, here are some examples of small wins for you to accumulate until you get back into the workforce.
Feed your reward system by volunteering. Volunteering puts you back into a structured environment. You socialize with others, and you achieve a sense of pride in your work.
Do something nice for a friend or a stranger
As trivial as it sounds, the key to doing something nice is never to expect anything in return. There is nothing more rewarding than being noble.
Do something creative
Finally, you have time to pursue your inner artist; being creative doesn’t limit you to drawing or painting. You can write stories, take acting classes, take singing lessons. Surrounding yourself with creative people is inspiring.
Living Social and Groupon offer great ways to discover your inner artist.
Spend time with your family
There is no better time to get to know your children, or to rekindle that romantic spark with your significant other. Once you re-enter the workforce, you will spend a majority of your time impressing your new boss.
Spend time with your friends
Don’t become anti-social. Odds are, you are at home all day. It’s vital you keep in touch with your friends and family. We humans are social animals. Don’t get me wrong, Tweeting and creeping on Facebook, Linkedin and Instagram profiles can be fun.
However, nothing beats meeting your old friends and colleagues in person.
Acquire a new skill
Example; Learn to code, there are plenty of free code websites teaching you the basics. Or you could attend classes. There are no limits. Time is on your side. If you can afford it, try to attend a class or course, the interaction with other people will do you good.
Wake up early
It all starts with this one. Wake up early. Don’t sleep in. Ever! No excuses! A couple of weeks ago, I went out with some friends; it got late and I woke up with a hangover. I stuck to my routine and went on a 7:30am 3 mile run with my dog.
Did it feel good at the time? Absolutely Not!
Did I throw up in my mouth a little? I’d rather not say.
Do I feel good about it now? Hell Yeah!
Just writing about it makes me feel good.
Get back into shape
Yes, it’s a cliche, but working out boosts your self-esteem. Getting the extra oxygen in your system will give you more energy.
Keep track of your workout and watch the improvement. If you have never worked out in your life don’t worry; join a gym, buy a workout DVD, download an app or look up YouTube workout videos. Getting into shape will appeal to your inner narcissist and boost your ego.
Nowadays I look in the mirror, I see the body of a 20-year-old athlete and feel amazing.
That is until, my wife reminds me I still have the face of somebody in their 40’s.
I shamelessly stole that joke from Iliza Shlesinger. Thanks Iliza.
All jokes aside, there are hundreds of things you can do to accrue a small portfolio of wins.
You just need the willpower and perseverance to do them.
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