Fuel your inner dragon: how to reignite your spark

Much has been written in recent years about dragons: how to fly your dragon, how to teach your dragon. Western mythology talks about how to slay your dragon. Personally I like the concept of the dragon in Chinese mythology, in which the dragon represents wisdom, power and excellence. This correlates well with that inner fire that drives us on, the passion and the will within. Whatever we would like to call that energy within, let's take care of it and let's harness it  to live our lives to our full potential. If you've been neglecting yourself and  feel wornout, take time to feed your inner dragon.

Seven tips on fuelling your inner dragon

1. Meaning

Remind yourself of what's important to you. At work it may be the need to be professional, to do the task well, to help your client or organisation and to see them do well or succeed. It may be the desire to see your family thrive or it may be the work you do to build up your community. Your values will help you to do what you believe is right and good. If you're feeling unhappy or frustrated are you in conflict with your values?

2. Your successes, your strengths

It's easy to overlook your strengths when you're having a bad day. Remember your determination or perseverance, your ability to remember facts or learn new skills, your patience or your sense of humour. Acknowledge your successes from previous times in your life. Take pleasure from what you have achieved previously. Draw on that sense of achievement. 

3. Autonomy

At work this is reflected in having a choice over how to do things and having control over various aspects of work. The desire for self-direction benefits both you and your organisation. Be able to prioritise what is essential to your role. Know what your skills and strengths are, what you are good at or even excellent in providing. You may require additional resources - ask for help. 

4. Emotional/spiritual wellbeing

Find what is inspirational to you. Being spiritual is nourishing a different dimension of yourself. it gives a connectedness and meaning. For some this may be practicing your faith, being part of a particular religion. It may be a quiet, personal practice. Meditation may be your way of recharging your batteries. It may be setting aside time to nourish yourself. Rediscover what you love doing.

5. Flow

Mihaly Csikzentmihaly describes flow as, "The best moments usually occur when a person's mind or body is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile." He also writes that it is not the sense of being in control , but the sense of exercising control in difficult situations, that people enjoy. Practicing flow requires concentration and the development of skills. It may require a shift in perspective such as finding meaning in whatever you set your mind or hand to.

6. Planning and the time and space to do this

Be clear about your current career strategy. Know what it is you want to accomplish. Talk to your colleagues, speak to your senior or manager at work. Find a mentor and discuss this with him/her. Get advice on how things are structured at work and how you can change roles within your organisation or profession. Reassess your personal goals: know what gives meaning to you and check that your goals are aligned to your values.

7. Physical wellbeing

Take time to attend to your physical wellbeing. This may be the most neglected area of our lives - we squeeze this time to fit in everything else. We neglect ourselves to take care of others. Get sufficient sleep - know how much time you need and develop a healthy routine. Have a balanced diet - check the source of information. Food fads and myths abound - the proof of the pudding ... Exercise doesn't have to be a dirty word - get moving. Find what works for you whether it's rambling, rock climbing or rock 'n rolling.

To be an effective dragon - using your power wisely, doing great deeds - keep your flame burning.

And remember, even dragons need to rest.