Having this can be the difference between success and failure in your work and life.
I have a bag. This bag is my work thing. As a writer, speaker, and consultant, I only need my bag to succeed. My bag is beaten and worn. It was given as a gift and for four years has served me while traveling everywhere from coffee shops to client meetings to professional conferences. My bag is my work thing.
Inside my bag I have my laptop for writing. I have a charger, a VGA adapter, and a clicker. I always carry headphones because music provides me inspiration. In one pocket, I keep a collection of notes from loved ones for support. In another are two pens, business cards, and my Kindle. The last pieces are two Moleskins. One black: my calendar of events that also tracks my daily goals. The other purple: an open notebook for thoughts.
These are the contents of my bag. The contents of my bag do not vary, items are interchangeable with different versions, but these things inside my bag, and they are my work basics. Everything about my job relies on this bag. Whenever I leave my apartment with this bag, I know I am going to accomplish much.
This bag is my work thing, the piece I need to be successful. It is important we all know our work things, because when we are forming productive environments that inspire us to work, everyone has a thing.
It may be simple to write my bag off as a collection of items needed to perform my professional responsibilities because it is so much more. My bag is the thing that tethers me to my career. It is the object that provides me inspiration and enthusiasm. If I leave home without my bag, I am not going somewhere to work. If I leave with my bag, well at some point I am going to be doing something professional. Whenever my bag is present, it is an indication of what I have set out to do. My bag has significance in my life because it embodies something bigger: my drive, my ambitions, and my career. My bag is my thing.
In work, we all need things. We need things that can serve as our anchors, which provide us inspiration and charge us. For some of us, our things are the locations we work, the places we go where we are productive and ideas flow. For others, these tethers are the people, who surround us, individuals we trust to drive us forward. Others still might find inspiration from the habits they create, routines and acts that must be initiated in a specific manner to feel competent. These things in turn can become our patterns; we find them naturally because they help us make sense of work. They provide us comfort.
Finding our thing is essential to successful work because they help us adjust. They provide us space where we are grounded; they are mental connections to a purpose. Our work thing drives us because they are ours to own and use for support. These things are ours to define, but it is important we define them because when we can identify the things that push us, it allows us capabilities of taking full advantage of these things.
By understanding the things, the patterns, the habits, the places, the people and the objects that help us become our best work self, it provides us the power of monopolizing on these concepts.
I work best with my bag, my thing, in my life. Give me my laptop and I am fine, but I feel like I am lacking because I did not engage in the physical act of carrying my bag, my thing, somewhere else. The second I remove my thing, I feel less competent. Give me my bag, and I can conquer my work world. Our things are an inspiration into themselves.
In work, it is important we define our things. The elements we need to be successful. By defining our thing, we can become better workers. When we know what our things are, we can seek them out, we can alter our reality to meet the needs we have defined, and we have tethers hat help inspire us towards work greatness. Defining our thing is a highly personal task, differing for everyone based on our preferences, history and personal story. It is important however that we do define our thing because feeling comfortable in our work is almost as important as knowing why we are there in the first place.
Photo: Flickr/ Ben Smith