Think how often you see a friend or an acquaintance that you may not have seen for a few weeks or months and the question comes up: "How's work going?"
What's a typical response for you? "Fine." "O.k." "Oh, I'm hanging in there" "It's all right." Or maybe even: "Horrible" "I'm going absolutely nutty!" or "Why'd you have to bring it up!"
When you ask the question, or when the question is asked of you, how come the typical response isn't: "Fantastic!" "Wonderful!" or "Couldn't be better!"?
Think about how much of your life you spend working. We'll say the average person works 40 hours a week, 50 weeks a year, for 45 years… That's 90,000 hours, which is 3,750 days which works out to just about 10.25 solid years! If the average person lives to be 75, then we are spending roughly 1/7th of our life at work punching the old time clock!
If you are going to spend 1/7th of your life doing anything… shouldn't you be doing something that gives you a sense of worth and satisfaction if not absolute elation?
Granted, many people truly love their work. They can't wait to get up in the morning to get to the office, or to get on the road, or to start a new project. But I would argue this isn't the case with most people.
So how do we enjoy the same passion and love for what we do that some select others enjoy?
Why not start by copying the attributes that these individuals have? I recognize many things that we may be able to copy, but three stand out more than others.
People who truly enjoy their work:
1. Chose a line of work that they love and that excites them,
2. Have specific goals and accomplishments that they would like to attain and,
3. Have a positive self-image and enjoy higher levels of self-confidence than most.
First, chose a line of work that you love and that excites you. The old adage holds true, "Do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life."
So often we are torn between choosing a career that we love, and choosing the career that will bring us the big paycheck! Is that big paycheck ultimately worth your sanity and your happiness?
My experience is that it isn't. At best, the paycheck becomes an outlet for you to try and enjoy yourself outside of work. This causes other problems like inordinate amounts of debt, materialism, and other worries.
Why not choose a career that you truly love, regardless of the paycheck attached to it, and then figure out how to make money at it?
For example, forget about the paycheck and become a public school teacher like you've always wanted to. Then develop a new teaching method or product that you can market and sell to the public.
Do what you love and then if you desire riches, figure out how to make money at it!
Secondly, people who truly love their work and get a lot of satisfaction out of it have specific goals or accomplishments that they are always working for.
It may be developing a new product, leading the sales force in sales, touching a student's life every week, or getting that promotion you've always wanted. Whatever the case, my personal experience and my observations of others is that as soon as you stop working towards a specific goal, the passion you have for your work begins to fizzle and fade away.
Set goals regularly and review those goals in order to keep yourself on track. I recommend setting daily, weekly, monthly and yearly goals in addition to having longer-term goals (1-5 years, 5-15 years, and 15+ years).
Review your goals on a daily basis and update your goals at least monthly.
Finally, work on your self-image and self-confidence.
I think many would argue that these two attributes are a result of success and fulfillment at work - they would be right in a sense. The more you succeed, the better self-image and confidence you will have.
However, positive self-image and self-confidence are self-fulfilling prophecies. You have to have them before you can have them… you know!?
Let me explain. The way our subconscious sees ourselves is the way that our actions will project to others.
In other words, if you believe yourself to be lacking in the necessary experience and expertise to manage the division that just opened up, then the powers that be who are interviewing you for the job will notice that you project a lack of experience and expertise needed for the job.
Conversely, if your subconscious sees yourself as knowledgeable and confident, then the image you will project to others is one of being an expert in your field.
Your actions justify your belief.
As you project and gain a more positive self-image and more powerful confidence, your work will begin to become more fulfilling and enjoyment is never far behind true fulfillment.
I know that your work can truly become a labor of love when you prepare yourself, improve yourself, and put yourself in a winning position. Hopefully, the next time someone asks: "How's work going?" you can answer: "Never been better!"
To Your Success,