The Inner Life Of Work

There is a practical side to focusing on the inner life of work. This is the inner life of thinking and feeling as we move through tasks, conversations and transactions in our work.

Our inner life of work is more significant even than outer events. Inner events like remembering and anticipating can last far longer than outer events. For a single outer event of a minute or hour, we can spend hours or days in anticipation or memory of it.

As a result, the inner life of work has significantly more impact than outer events on the quality of our experience in our work. This explains the persistent disparity in engagement by people who work in exactly the same kinds of work environments. And it explains why bosses not only can't take responsibility for happiness away from people, doing so prevents people from discovering the amazing power of their inner life, a realization that can only come about with an internal locus of control.

The reason why the 5 habits of thriving organizations - courage, purpose, belonging, discovery and vitality - are so important is that they directly and uniquely impact our inner life at work in ways no outer events can.