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Why do most jobs suck?

Why can’t I find meaning and purpose in my work?

Is it possible to get ahead in my career without being a brown-noser?

Can one person really create change in an organization?

These are questions I get asked a lot these days. People are wondering why they have to spend so much of their waking hours struggling at jobs that don’t bring them joy, with people who are similarly disengaged, and with little support, direction or purpose.

I have spent years searching for answers to these questions because I wanted to love my job, love my co-workers and love my company. 

If you have these same questions and want to discover how to change your work life, how to change your workplace and even how to change your boss, then read on…

After considerable study, many interviews, and lots of painful experiences, I have come to understand that there are eight principles that are crucial to creating a successful career. These principles are drawn from my thirty-five years of work experience across a number of different industries — from Hollywood to Microsoft to Startups and beyond. And they are informed by my thirty-four years of Buddhist practice as a leader in the SGI-USA Buddhist Association. 

You do not have to be a Buddhist to benefit from these principles. They are universal and available to you or anyone who wants to bring them to their office, shop, factory, or agency.

 Here they are — in order from first to last…

1.You Are What You Believe.

Your beliefs determine your worldview, your actions, and your level of happiness and success. At the heart of this understanding is the Buddhist concept of the “oneness of life and its environment.” This is way more than just positive thinking because if you understand that your attitude creates your reality, then you can create any reality you want, even at work.

2. Take Personal Responsibility: Change Yourself First.

We have been taught to lay blame and avoid fault so for many people this is a radical concept. But the Buddha teaches that when we take personal responsibility for everything we do and everything that happens to us, we also develop the power to change things.

3. Cause and Effect Is Strict.

In fact, according to the Buddha, it’s a law. And this law tells us that every good deed will be rewarded. And every bad deed will be punished…eventually. This goes hand in glove with another of the Buddha’s teachings that “unseen virtue brings visible reward.” I’ll share some colorful examples of how I learned this lesson the hard way in my own life.

4. Each Person Is a Buddha in Training.

As the Buddha teaches: “You should rise and greet [another] from afar, showing him the same respect you would a Buddha.” No one is perfect, but everyone is worthy of respect. Easier said than done, but I have some tips for you on how to make this work for you.

5. Have a Heart of Service.

The Buddha said, “To light a lamp for another will brighten your own way.” In other words, helping others get what they want is the most certain way of getting what you want as well. This is the opposite of the way many siloed organizations operate with everyone keeping their head down. Instead, how can you be proactively helpful, without sacrificing your own responsibilities?

6. All Things Are Interconnected and Interdependent.

From the Buddha’s standpoint, our lives are not contained solely within our bodies but radiate out in all directions throughout the universe. That means, your happiness is my happiness, and my sorrow is your sorrow. What does this mean in business? It means that I have a lot more influence over my co-workers, my company culture, and even my boss than I realize. I’ll show you how to work this to your – and everyone else’s benefit. 

7. At Each Moment: Say What Needs to Be Said, and Do What Needs to Be Done.

How to handle problems, failure, challenges and obstacles internal and external. It’s possible. Honest.

8. Everything Starts With Dialogue: Dialogue creates open communication, trust, and spurs cooperation and innovation. End endless useless meetings and start creating real dialogue.

When you’ve embraced the 8 principles listed above, the result is a joyful, fulfilling environment for everyone. You can find meaning and purpose in your work. It’s there; you just need to uncover it.

But I get it. Right now you feel powerless. Things happen in the company and your co-workers just shrug it off. You hear comments like, “Get used to it. That’s how things are around here.” You’ve tried and no you may not even feel it’s worth trying anymore.

Don’t buy into that crapola! 

Here’s one of the biggest takeaways from the 8 Career Success Principles. If you embrace these 8 principles and apply yourself diligently to implementing them in whatever sphere of influence you have in your workplace (and you might be surprised how much influence you actually have), you can make change from the bottom up. 

Sounds crazy, even subversive, but it’s true! And when you challenge the prevailing culture and simply refuse not to bring your best self to work each day, one of two things will happen:

  1. your company will recognize your value, positive attitude, and constructive efforts and you’ll start going places – promotions, raises, new responsibilities, or… 
  2. someone else will recognize this and you’ll find new opportunities for going places outside of your current situation.

Over the next several weeks I will dive into each of the 8 Career Success Principles, one by one. So come along with me and see discover what hundreds of others have experienced – real change in their lives, their workplaces, and their careers.

Wishing you total success and fulfillment!


Marc Sachnoff

The Career Buddha

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