Chapter 10

Dealing with enough stuff—prioritising things that matter

Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony.

Thomas Merton, writer on spirituality and social justice

As we reach the final chapter of this book, you might be reflecting on the journey as you have explored, reframed and consolidated the behavioural and psychological approaches to dealing with the tough stuff. To make the changes needed to map a clearer path in the tough-stuff conversations, you will need to achieve a certain level of discipline and commitment to deliver the results you want.

Think about the times when you operate at your best at work. When you have 20 tasks on the go but you are on top of all of them, and nothing is too much of a challenge. Well-known professor of psychology and management Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi describes this experience as flow. If someone took a picture of you in this state what would that image look like?

Now take the time to think about when you are operating at your worst at work: even the little things feel like they are an effort and deplete you of energy, nothing goes according to plan and it's about here that you lock your keys in the car or leave your wallet at the café as you try to rush back to your work. How does this photo of you compare with the other one?

Now consider how differently you are equipped to deal with the tough stuff at work in these two different states. Your ability to have the tough conversations, to keep calm, ...

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