Are you languishing?

- 3 minutes

Over a year into the pandemic, the effects of continued social distancing, remote working, and uncertainty are taking their toll. If you’ve been feeling a little ‘blah’ lately, then you are not alone. This feeling of indifference about life, feeling aimless or lacking in motivation is called languishing.

Described in an article for the New York Times by organisational psychologist Adam Grant, as ‘the neglected middle child of mental health’, languishing is when we continue to go through the motions of life, waiting for something good to happen.

Whereas depression is a clinical disorder accompanied with intense sadness, languishing is where we feel aimless, lacking in motivation. It’s what the French call ‘ennui’, a feeling of dissatisfaction from the lack of excitement or purpose. To use another French term, an absence of ‘joie de vivre’.

It’s something that many of us have felt at one time or another but the effects of the pandemic seem to have amplified these feelings. So, how can we reconnect with our purpose, our mission in life, to reignite that spark and to begin to flourish?

As Grant writes, an antidote to a feeling of languish is finding the often elusive state of flow. This is when you immerse yourself in a particular activity, so engaged by a task that you lose all sense of time.

The activity which allows us to achieve this state will be different for different people but what’s important is finding a space where you can fully focus on the task at hand.

This can be tricky to achieve in the age of instant messaging and endless incoming emails. If possible, try to set aside some time to switch off. Find a meaningful task which you think you can focus on and attempt to achieve a state of flow. That could be for just 20 minutes, maybe an hour. Carving out time to work on and achieve small, achievable and meaningful goals can do wonders for reigniting a sense of accomplishment and enthusiasm that you may have been lacking.

At People Activation, we believe getting hands on is the best way to help individuals reconnect with their pride in purpose at work. To help build a collective sense of shared purpose, we use a three step process - inspire, involve and drive action.

‘Inspire’ is about giving people the ideas to get their imaginations running. ‘Involve’ is immersing individuals in a particular activity. Finally, ‘Drive Action’ is helping individuals to understand how these ideas relate to their day-to-day life.

For example, we worked with Bayer pharmaceutical as they were repositioning the business as a life sciences company. It was important that it’s employees understood how this would affect their purpose. We designed a bespoke, hands-on experience to excite Bayer employees in Bayer’s purpose.

Inspire We transported employees on a journey to a future, without Life Science and what it meant for our planet and its people.

Involve Through a series of experiential touch points, we immersed employees in the opportunity and focus areas for Bayer.

Drive Action A hands-on workshop enabled employees to connect their personal ambition with Bayer’s purpose. They could now see how they can positively impact the business ambition in their individual roles If you’d like to hear how People Activation can help maximise your employees contribution to the success of your business then please get in touch: