Brian Ford (00:08):
Welcome to "Money and Mindset With Bright and Brian," a podcast that helps people align their personal finances with their personal values. I'm Brian Ford and my background is in all things money.
Bright Dickson (00:20):
And I'm Bright Dickson, a student and teacher of resilient skills in positive psychology. I'm the mindset side of the equation. On today's episode, we're going to get into how the way we work has and hasn't changed since 2020. We'll talk a little bit about popular concepts like burnout and quiet quitting, and share some tips on how you can boost your career while still taking care of yourself. Brian, are you ready to go?
Brian Ford (00:43):
Let's do it.
Bright Dickson (00:50):
Before we get into our marquee topic, let's open up some fan mail. We've been hearing a lot from listeners about the economy, inflation, recessions, soft landings, you name it. It's one of the biggest questions we get: "How do I respond to changing economic conditions?" Brian, what can people do when they're worried about the economy?
Brian Ford (01:08):
Yeah, it's a good question. It's one that we as humans struggle with. Unfortunately, we are hard-wired to worry. Behavioral science teaches us that our brains, we've got a bias towards negative information. In fact, it's called negativity bias. It's our tendency to notice and react to threats more than we pay attention to opportunities. So negativity bias, it can cause us to focus longer and more intensely on negative data. So, we just need to be mindful. We need to be mindful of this bias and we may need to turn our attention away from the news that plays on really this innate desire to consume negative data. I remember, Bright, this was last year, and I was speaking in front of a pretty large group, and it was the day after Russia invaded Ukraine.
And look, it was scary, and the audience was like, what's going to happen? And they had very specific questions and I just simply said, "Look, I don't know what's going to happen. I have no idea, and it is a little bit scary. But relative to your money…"—then I shifted to really speaking about their finances—I said, "…there will always be something like this." And I actually related to them a few things that had happened the year before that maybe they had already forgotten about. And I just let them know there will always be something out there. Because then after that speech that I gave and I talked about that as the year progressed, inflation became the hot topic, and to a certain extent it still is. Then there were rumblings about a possible recession. By the time this podcast comes out, there will definitely be another hot economic topic grabbing all the headlines, but the point is there's always going to be market forces we cannot control, and relative to our finances, there's no need to panic.
We talk all the time on the show about focusing on what we can control. So, when we feel ourselves focusing on scary news, we need to turn our attention to simple things that are within our control. Like, how much are we spending? And building an emergency savings fund. The other thing is to make sure our investments are well diversified. If our investment portfolio is properly diversified, the short-term ups and downs of the market, it's going to have less of an impact in the long term. But if our listeners are specifically worried about a recession and what that might mean for their job security, it never hurts to be proactive. Are you delivering value at work? And if you are delivering value at work, just as important, does your manager know the specifics? Having those conversations with your manager and making sure your hard work is recognized can, at the very least, help put your mind at ease, but it's also likely to help your career in many other ways too.
Bright Dickson (03:49):
And I'll add here that many of the things that we worry about, that we spend our time thinking about and maybe planning for if maybe not taking action, they don't come to pass. And what we end up experiencing is sort of that double pain of that unnecessary anxiety. On the flip side, though, don't give yourself a hard time for feeling stress or worry. That's totally natural. As you mentioned, Brian, we've got negativity bias. It's built into the ways that our brains work, and that's good in many ways because it keeps us safe, it's an adaptation for survival.
And what you can do is focus on what you can control. So, if it's inflation you're worried about, you can check in and reevaluate what you're saving versus what you're spending. If you're worried about job security, develop a backup plan. I mean, you should develop a backup plan even if you're not worried about it. So, keep your resume updated, make sure your LinkedIn page is tidy and makes sense, and think about what are those temporary gigs you might be able to take up if you find yourself between full-time jobs. There are ways to reassure yourself that you're in a good place, that you're going to be OK no matter what happens, and you'll feel better knowing that you have that agency and that while many things are out of your control, not everything.
Brian Ford (05:08):
Yeah. Thanks for that, Bright. And thanks to our listeners who have written in. Remember, you can send a question or drop us a line about your money challenges, or even better, your money successes. We'd love to hear from you. Send your email to AskBrightAndBrian@truist.com.
Bright Dickson (05:26):
And that goes for your questions, your success stories, about your mindset, your mental well-being too. We want to hear it all, so please keep those messages coming.
OK. So, if we think a few years back to 2020, Brian, a lot happened in that year, if you recall. Yeah, a lot happened and that's putting it mildly, things occurred. Some of the more lasting changes to come from the pandemic have been in how many of us engage with our work. So, many more people are working remotely these days, and conversations around things like burnout have come to the forefront in a really major way. People are thinking harder than ever about how work fits in with their lives and how their lives fit with their work and those connections. So, many of us are asking these really big, important questions about whether we're happy with our jobs, whether we're enjoying a healthy work-life balance, whether what we're doing is adding value to our employers, but also to us.
Brian Ford (06:31):
Yeah, it's interesting because I think people have to a certain extent been asking themselves these kinds of questions for as long as people have been working, but a lot has changed over the last few years and many of us are still trying to figure out what these changes mean for us and our careers. I know personally, I like to think of myself as a well-adjusted, even-keeled dude. I'm as steady as she goes, but even for me, 2020 was a doozy. I'm still trying to grapple with the impact of that. And I know I'm far from the only person who feels this way. So Bright, big picture, what's happening that's led us to have these sort of emotional responses to these changes? How has it impacted the way we work?
Bright Dickson (07:15):
A couple things. One, I think it's really important to keep in mind that while we talk about work-life balance, it's all of our life. So, we can't really separate work from our life, we're just one body moving through. It's not like we're different people at work and at home it all stops. It's all happening at the same time. So, this work-life balance, in many ways it's a good way to think about it, but it's also in reality kind of a false dichotomy. And I think that really for many of us literally came home in a very real way.
Brian Ford (07:47):
Bright Dickson (07:48):
During the last few years with the pandemic and all of the disruption, all of the sort of filters that we had disappeared. And I don't know about you, Brian, but my office is now about 10 feet away from my bed. So, work-life balance for me is like a hallway. So, when I cross the hallway, I have to make some changes in my mind. So, there was a lot of disruption, there was a lot of tragedy, of course. Some of us lost our jobs, some of us lost people we love, our daily lives from home to the workplace were upended, things changed and we had to figure it out. So, it makes some sense that we'd feel that collective stress in a personal way and that it would have an impact on how we work and what we work on. So you can factor in how many people were and still are working from home or even some kind of hybrid work, as well as the high levels that we've seen in many industries of turnover.
So many people are reevaluating the role of work in our lives. So in certain ways, the world has "returned to normal," whatever normal means, right? That's a big question too. But these last few years have forced many of us to examine how everything from our finances to caregiving to relaxation and enjoyment fits into the way we live and reevaluate the way we want to live. And work is a huge part of the way we live. It's something we have to deal with, and we're all sort of pretty consistently trying to keep our priorities in order and live our lives in a way that fits our values and our priorities.
Brian Ford (09:30):
Yeah. I want to share a couple stats. These are from Gallup's State of the Global Workplace Report in 2022. About 50% of workers, Bright, in the U.S. reported feeling stressed at their jobs on a daily basis, and only 33% of people said they felt engaged in their work. And that particular number has been trending in the wrong direction in recent years. So my takeaway here is that a lot of people are both unhappy and super bored at work, and it's just been getting worse since 2020. And to me, those seem like stats that are behind some of the buzzwords we've heard a lot about. I'm thinking specifically about burnout and quiet quitting. So Bright, what does it mean when we're talking about burnout?
Bright Dickson (10:14):
Burnout's complicated, and it is a buzzword right now. It's also a real condition, but I think people mean different things when they're using the word burnout. The way that I think about burnout is not only high levels of stress, but a decrease in a sense of meaning at work. It happens when people are feeling really under pressure, but also like their work doesn't really matter. It's this kind of relationship between stress and meaning. Because we as humans, we can really take a lot of stress, particularly if what we're doing has high meaning to us. I'm not a parent, Brian, you are, but from what I hear, it can be pretty stressful, but part of what mitigates that is the high level of meaning, that relationship between you and the kids and what it means to be a parent.
Brian Ford (11:12):
Bright Dickson (11:12):
We can experience burnout in different facets of our lives. We also see burnout happen with caregivers a lot. But it is this relationship between stress and a lack of meaning or a demoralization of meaning, particularly within your work. Let me be clear, burnout isn't a clinical diagnosis. It's sort of how we talk colloquially about this cluster of symptoms that may include some kind of clinical diagnosis. So, if you think you're suffering from that, please, please, please go see your doctor as soon as possible. But it's really this constellation of things. And often what we're talking about is that lack of meaning, but also an abundance of stress over a long period of time. So, if anyone wants to hear me go sort of full psychology nerd about stress, look up our episode from October '22 about understanding stress. But for now, let's just say, let's just remind ourselves that stress exists on a curve. So, a nice, pretty little bell curve. Sometimes we are looking at too much stress, sometimes we're looking at the right amount, sometimes we're looking at not enough.
Stress is just generally how we respond to stimuli. Some stress is good for you. So right up at that peak of the bell curve, that's where we're in our sweet spot. That's good stress. That's eustress. Now I'm just getting into full psychology nerd, go back and listen to the episode. But what we want to do is think about how that good stress keeps you from getting bored. It keeps you from getting apathetic, and it helps you engage with things in a healthy way, but too much stress has the opposite effect. You get overwhelmed, and so you disengage from your work in the many ways that that can happen, and it looks a little bit different for everybody.
Brian Ford (12:58):
Oh, I like that. I remember the podcast that you really dove into stress and I enjoyed that, but this time I loved how you mixed in meaning. That idea of, I think, parenting makes sense. I think even if you're not a parent, you can kind of understand what that is, which is it's difficult, there's stress, but when there's meaning, ooh, it makes it all make sense. But when there's stress without the meaning, that's when we could start talking about burnout. And I think it's interesting that we need stress to some extent in our lives, and it sounds like we need to find that sweet spot between too little and too much stress.
And when I think about the whole idea of work-life balance, I tend to think that some occasional imbalance is not the end of the world. A little bit of stress, a little bit of that good stress probably just means that we're going after some big stuff. But as long as we're pursuing something that matters to us, there's that meaning, we're engaged and we're being challenged at work, that could be a good thing and we should give ourselves a little bit of room to be a little imbalanced sometimes. However, just like you mentioned, Bright, if we're working too much and experiencing too much stress and possibly even without the meaning, burnout will make us less effective at our job and we won't just feel worse, we'll perform worse and engage less.
Bright Dickson (14:11):
Yeah, it'll have sort of that global effect. And we mentioned earlier this idea of quiet quitting. And I want to draw some distinctions here between burnout and this idea of quiet quitting. Brian, that Gallup survey that you mentioned earlier found that, big air quotes here, so-called "quiet quitters" make up 50% of the U.S. workforce, which seems pretty wild, right?
Brian Ford (14:34):
Bright Dickson (14:35):
So, is this saying that half of us have really totally stopped putting in effort at work? And that is not the case, so we need to define quiet quitting. You mentioned the Gallup research. So all of this comes from what Gallup is seeing, and they've been collecting data on engagement for many, many years. It's sort of the industry standard, and they separate engagement into three categories. The actively engaged, these are people who are not only involved in their work, but they're enthusiastic about their work. They have a positive psychological connection to their work.
On the other side are those who are actively disengaged. Think of it like a bell curve again. On one side, actively engaged, on the other side, actively disengaged. These are people who aren't really involved in their work. They don't have a strong positive psychological connection. They may even have a stronger negative psychological connection to work, and they're not really sort of involved.
And then you've got this much bigger group, that 50% in the middle, and those are what we call the not engaged. Those are people who maybe have sort of a neutral or slightly positive or slightly negative psychological orientation to their work. They're not as involved. They're doing their work, but they're just kind of there. Those are the folks who are being referred to as the quiet quitters. And what they're doing, it's not that they're not doing their job, it's that they're doing just their job. They're completing their tasks, they're doing what they got to do, but they're not really sort of going above and beyond. So we call that discretionary effort, which is really this idea that maybe I'm going to do a little bit more than what my understanding of my bare minimum job requirements are. So, that's what we're talking about when we're talking about quiet quitting. We're not talking about people who are actively working against their job, but what we're really talking about are people who are doing their job just with not that much enthusiasm and not that much involvement.
And there's been a lot of talk about this, and even the name quiet quitters, there's a pretty negative connotation there.
Brian Ford (16:53):
I know. Bright, when you were talking about all this, I'm actually thinking, I'm like, oh my gosh, the media is totally playing our negativity bias. It's so dramatic. So I appreciate these distinctions. It's getting to the heart of what's really going on.
Bright Dickson (17:06):
Right. And I think we, because of the way we work, especially in the United States, we definitely tend to put some moral load on your relationship to work. And I'd just like to state from my perspective, I think quiet quitting is better known as doing your job, which is what we want people to do. They're fulfilling their obligations. So it's not necessarily a bad thing, but it also means that people aren't able to really engage and get back to that meaning piece. And because we spend so much time at work, it is really important for our overall health and well-being that we like that work, that we're engaged in that work, that we find intrinsic meaning and value in that work. That's what we find, happier people tend to find more meaning and engagement in their work. So, feeling engaged is really important to that work. But just like you were saying, that imbalance, we are all going to go through ebbs and flows in our work. Sometimes we're going to be more engaged, sometimes we're going to be less engaged, and that's normal.
Feeling good at work is important for a lot of reasons, and it's not the only important thing. So, what we're seeing with a lot of those quiet quitters is that maybe they're a little less engaged in work, but they're more engaged in things that have value to them. So they're using that energy that they might have been putting into their jobs, to put into different parts of their lives. Feeling engaged is really important, not only because it makes you a better employee, but also because it can help your career and it's good for your finances. Brian, tell us a little about that.
Brian Ford (18:47):
Yeah, I mean, I loved what you were talking about from the mindset standpoint, but shifting back to the money side of things, most definitely being engaged and satisfied with your work, you're going to bring more value. You're going to bring more value to your team, your customers, or whoever your work is supporting. And that usually means higher pay and more opportunities for career growth. All right, in this next segment, we're going to share some tips on caring for your career in this new professional landscape, but also some tips for caring for yourself. Stay with us.
OK, so, we've been talking about how these tumultuous couple of years have caused many of us to take a step back and reexamine our working lives. And that's not always easy to do, but I think in this particular moment, it's a great opportunity for each of us to consider our careers and whether or not we're happy in, really, at what we're doing. So, this sort of long pandemic hangover, burnout, work-life balance, even the economic news, all this stuff affects each of us very differently, but there are some shared best practices that can help us respond to these challenges. Bright, in light of everything we've talked about and the work environment today, how can people get their minds right going forward?
Bright Dickson (20:11):
I think, Brian, we could spend a dozen or more episodes getting into this idea of finding harmony in your life and work. Ultimately, what it's about is living your own personal purpose. And that's a huge subject. It's actually what I spend most of my professional life working on and talking about. So, what I'm going to say here is sort of partly me giving a little preview for a future episode when we're going to go really big on purpose. We're not going to go all into it now, but we're going to go later.
Brian Ford (20:45):
Sounds like a purpose appetizer.
Bright Dickson (20:48):
That's right. It's a little purpose amuse-bouche. I don't want to spoil anybody's appetite for the purpose entree. So, we're going to serve you up a purpose steak soon, but let's talk about it a little now. One important thing to know about your personal purpose is that it doesn't necessarily have to revolve around work. In fact, I recommend that your personal purpose that you create yourself doesn't revolve necessarily around work or your current job. You may express your personal purpose through your current job, but you don't want to set it up around it, because it's personal. There are a lot of ways to find fulfillment in life and to experience joy and to experience meaning. Your work is going to be part of that, but it's not going to be the whole thing. We can't tell anybody what their purpose is, right? So, Brian, I can't look at you and, even with all that I know about you, and be like, boom, this is Brian's purpose and that's what I'm going to say about it. We create it in and of ourselves.
And more likely than not, your job is going to have a little bit, at least something to do with living the kind of life that you want to live. Bare minimum it's going to have the impact on your income, right? We've talked before on the show about job crafting, which is the idea that you can take steps to find more fulfillment, more enjoyment at work no matter what your job is. Today, I want to focus a little bit more specifically on how some of the things we've been talking about, like burnout, quiet quitting, the ways that work has changed since 2020, all that stuff has come into play here, and there are just some little practical things that you can do to help decide where work fits in with the picture you have of your life and what you're trying to create in your life.
Number one, in terms of avoiding or mitigating burnout, boundaries. If the expectations around when and how you're going to work aren't clear with your manager or your coworkers, then you need to get those expectations clear. But even before that, you need to be really clear with yourself about what are your lines? What are you going to do? What are you going to not do? How are you going to engage? And one of the things that I really think about and that is really present for me often, and I think for a lot of other people, isn't just my boundaries with my manager, the people in my job, but my boundaries with technology and how I communicate to the people in my job.
Brian Ford (23:25):
Bright Dickson (23:25):
So you need to think about those boundaries with technology, especially since we're all so glued to our phones. I mean, I know this is talked to death, and yet we still all have this problem. So you need to be clear with your own boundaries even before you start communicating them, think about your own boundaries with technology as part of it.
The other thing to remember is that even when you have boundaries, it gets messy. So maybe I have a boundary, let's say that I don't answer work emails after, let's say, 6:00 p.m. There are going to be times where my manager's going to need to talk to me after 6:00 p.m. I can't be necessarily super rigid about that, but I can shoot for that as the goal, and if it becomes a chronic problem, I can have that kind of discussion with my manager. It's going to be a little bit messy. I also think that when you have big professional or personal ambitions, it's going to be a challenge to pursue both of those equally sometimes, and that's totally OK. We're working with that ebb and flow. And the ebb and flow is in many ways managed by how you focus and act on what you can control.
Last thing here, if you're struggling, ask for help. I'm going to say it again because it's so important. If you're struggling, ask for help. Don't wait. There are many people out there who deal with this. There are people who can help you. If you're feeling really stressed at work or unhappy, reach out to someone you trust or consider talking with a mental health professional. It's really important that we're seeking help. It's really actually a sign of resilience. None of us are wired to do life alone, and particularly in the hard times, the reason we've survived as a species is because we have each other, because we're not just individuals, we're wired for that connection. So if you're noticing that you're struggling, please reach out, connect with someone who can help.
We've all gone through a lot in these last few years, some of us more than others. We're all still going through a lot. My guess, Brian, is that we're going to continue to go through a lot. So make sure that you're looking after yourself. Make sure that you're setting those healthy boundaries. Make sure that you're taking care in particular of your body, getting enough sleep, eating what's good for you, avoiding eating what's bad for you, and really looking after yourself and those that you love. And Brian, last thing, what works for me is going to be different than what works for you. We're all going to be a little bit different in the way that we pursue these boundaries, the way that we pursue our goals. Brian, I'm curious, what works for you? I mean, I know you're a well-adjusted dude and maybe it's been a little topsy-turvy lately, but what works for you?
Brian Ford (26:22):
Yeah. Before I even answer that question, I want to reiterate something you said that I thought was powerful, which is asking for help is a sign of strength. I believe that. I've seen that with my children. I don't always know when they're struggling, but when they come to me and they express that they're struggling and then they ask for help, it's a really touching moment for me as a father. And I'm like, "Man, they're so strong, even stronger than me sometimes." I'd want to keep it in and keep it to myself. I would think it would be a sign of weakness, and that's how I grew up. But it's wrong and it's silly. So I agree with that. I think it's a wonderful sign of strength to ask for help. Something that helps me, kind of getting back to your question. One thing that helps me, it's a simple thing, but it matters and it works for me is, really no matter what I'm doing, I try and be fully present.
And that means being really all in on whatever needs my focus, whether it's a family member or a work task. I try to focus on one thing at a time. And when I do this, I just find by the end of the day, I feel better. I feel better about my work-life balance. I feel in control. I feel like I accomplished a lot.
And let me give you kind of a real example of how this has affected me at work once I made this decision, because sometimes I'd be in a meeting and it's not as important, like I'm like, "Oh boy, why am I in this meeting?" And I'd start to feel the need to multitask. Instead, I would lean in, I would pay more attention. I would take notes, I would participate. And because this is sometimes painful, to lean in on a less important meeting, this has trained me to say no to meetings that I don't need to be in, or I ask one of my team members to participate if they're more suited. So over time, I find myself only leaning in on meetings that I should actually be in.
Bright Dickson (28:18):
That's so interesting, Brian. And I think one of the things that I really like about that is that you experienced pain and you learned from it. And I think that's kind of the way it goes. As you were talking, I was thinking about how do I manage it and what are the things that I've learned about. And a few years ago, this is going back four or five years now, I got pretty seriously burned out and it really impacted my health. I actually went into adrenal fatigue, which basically means that I had too much stress hormone in my body and at the wrong times. So I've been kind of on a journey to deal with that. And it was painful in a lot of ways. What I learned from that, just like you learned that multitasking is not your game and single-tasking is your game, and that's taught you what makes sense, what makes the most sense for you to single-task on. What I learned was that a high predictor of burnout for me is loneliness at work.
At that time in my work, I was doing a lot of traveling, which absolutely contributed to the burnout, but what it really was is that I was doing it alone.
Brian Ford (29:26):
Bright Dickson (29:27):
I need... I mean, just like most people, all people, let's say that, I need pretty high social connection. And what was really getting me down was that loneliness. So, listeners, do just what Brian and I are doing and think about what are the places where you are experiencing that pain, and don't dismiss those. That's your body literally trying to teach you what it needs. And it's really important that you take that on. If you're taking care of yourself and your well-being, that can help you take care of your career too. But if you do feel like you're struggling to meet those professional goals, Brian, what are some strategies that our listeners can adopt to engage more with work in a healthy way that will also give their career a boost?
Brian Ford (30:17):
Well, Bright, if you brought kind of a purpose appetizer to the table earlier, this is me ordering up a hot side of career fries.
Bright Dickson (30:25):
Career fries for the table, please.
Brian Ford (30:27):
Side of ranch maybe. As I've prepared for this podcast, Bright, really, about our careers, a few things came to mind that I'd love to discuss, and it's a couple of mindset shifts. The first is acknowledging that the money we earn is only worth what we value it for. And what I mean by that is our money really should fund our values or what we care most about in life. Whether we're talking about peace of mind, education, or travel. Money also plays a very practical need by putting a roof over our head and food on the table for our families. But even these very practical areas of our life really are satisfying the value we place on security. Money also pays for the experiences we cherish and helps us become better people.
If we are working only to stack up more money and not thinking about how our work supports our values, we may find happiness at work to be elusive. So, another mind shift that can bring greater satisfaction at work and help us avoid feeling disengaged from our jobs is focusing on how our work creates value for others. So, what part of your job creates a better world for other people? I take greater satisfaction in how my work creates greater value for others. And when I do this, not only do I find more enjoyment, normally I wind up making more money in the long term.
Bright Dickson (31:51):
Yeah, that's an interesting way to view value, sort of what you're bringing, but also sort of what you're taking. And I think we can view that value from the perspective of how our money fuels what we value, and then what does our work provide to other people. I really, really like that. Those two views on value, equally important, I would say. Maybe there's some ebb and flow in there at different times in your career, but equally important in the long run. Brian, you've successfully created and sold a company. You've been a CEO, a business owner. Has this changed the way you view your career now as a full-time employee at Truist?
Brian Ford (32:34):
Yes, for sure. In fact, I've tried to keep that owner mentality and it's really helped me excel in my current role as an employee. Let me explain. Even though I'm not the owner or the CEO, I try to think like one. I put myself in my employer's shoes. So if I owned the company I now work for, what kind of employee would I hire or promote? What attributes would I look for? And when I think about this question, a few attributes come to my mind. The first is positivity. Our boss, our customers, our coworkers, they'll all prefer dealing with someone who has a positive mindset and brings a healthy attitude to work. I also think about hardworking. And this doesn't always mean putting in long hours until you burn out. Really, employers want quality work. So organization and time management skills, they'll go a long way here.
Honesty is high on my list when I think about a good employee. Being honest isn't just the right thing to do, it's a good business move. I mean, I think you'd be amazed, the stats are kind of crazy, but dishonest and unethical conduct, it costs employers so much money and time. So trust pays off both financially and reputationally. I also think about intelligence. We can't all be Albert Einstein in our field, but we can continuously seek learning. And finally, I think of the quality of leadership. Strong leadership will affect every aspect of your work. And when I think of leadership, Bright, I step back and I'm like, OK, if I show up to work on time, I work hard, I do my job, that's worth a certain amount of money. But if I can do that, not only for myself, but for four other dudes, and I mean that's—
Bright Dickson (34:19):
Dude is gender-neutral.
Brian Ford (34:20):
Yeah, gender-neutral. Just in case this is their first podcast and they don't know me, I just want to make sure that's clear. Yeah, if I can do that for other folks, that's worth even more money. That really is where leadership plays in. And leadership really is going to affect a lot of different areas of work. Even if you're not in a leadership role, you can practice leadership by committing yourself to helping your coworkers and setting a strong example. And I do want to emphasize that really anybody in any role can be a leader.
Bright Dickson (34:48):
Yep. Leadership is a mindset, not a role. I really believe that too, Brian.
Brian Ford (34:51):
Agreed. And these are just a few qualities that come to mind when I think about people I want to hire or promote. So then, I ask myself, "Do I exhibit these qualities? Could I work to develop being more positive, hardworking, honest, intelligent, or a better leader?" These are the type of qualities employers look for when they are hiring, promoting, or investing in. So as we think like a business owner, we'll find ourselves in a much stronger position with our career, and we'll be more in tune with our best selves, resulting in greater income opportunities and happiness.
Bright Dickson (35:27):
And Brian, what strikes me about those attributes that you talked about, they can all really help you be more resilient as you think about a challenge like burnout, but they also help you stay within your own values. The world throws a lot at us, right? We're these individuals born into this sometimes chaotic place with a lot of other individuals, and all of those things help us keep our grounding. They help us keep a foundation regardless of what the world throws at us, what work throws at us; what we can control is our mindset. And we talk all the time here about controlling what you can control. Your mindset is sort of the number one thing you can control, and you can cultivate the qualities that will help you handle whatever comes your way.
We've covered a lot of ground today, and I want to retrace some of our tracks here. Brian, what are your biggest takeaways from what we've discussed?
Brian Ford (36:31):
I like what we discussed about value. So first, I like thinking about my hard-earned money in terms of how it funds my personal values, the idea that it's not just about making more money, it's about funding what's important in my life. Second, I like to think about how my work provides value to other people. In other words, how does my work make the world a better place to live? So both of these perspectives help me connect my work I do every day with my personal purpose, which in turn leads me to being engaged at work. So, Bright, what about for you? What are your top take-aways from today?
Bright Dickson (37:07):
I think my biggest take-away is a reminder that my career and my life are mine, and I get to make the decisions that matter the most. It doesn't mean that I can control every part of it, I'm still subject to external forces like all of us, but it really is mine to control. And that starts in the way that I view myself, my capabilities, and how I cultivate a mindset that not only helps me excel in work, but helps me live the kind of life that I want to live regardless of the circumstances. And those are my top take-aways from this episode.
As much as we have covered today, there are a lot of other issues around work that we plan on getting into in future episodes, and we would love your input. I know I'm especially interested in hearing from our listeners about challenges you might be facing in balancing or finding harmony in your work and your personal life. How has work and how you feel about it changed over the last few years? Email us at AskBrightAndBrian@truist.com, and we'll address your message in an upcoming episode.
Brian Ford (38:26):
And if you liked this show, please consider subscribing for episode alerts, and share the podcast with friends and family. Also, catch up on past episodes and find more tools and resources on the web at Truist.com/MoneyAndMindset. Thanks as always to my co-host, Bright Dickson, and thank you for listening. I'm Brian Ford. Until next time.
Speaker 3 (38:53):
This episode of "Money and Mindset With Bright and Brian" is brought to you by Truist.
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