Thursday, November 28, 2013

Work!


“Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action. ”

William James


“Your purpose in life is to find your purpose and give your whole heart and soul to it”

Buddha

“Work without love is slavery.”

Mother Teresa




What a privilege to be here.  I feel peaceful and relaxed and I’ve had a nice day.  I’m very grateful for how nicely today went.  Thank you!   Now I get to sit here and do my work.  The funny thing about the word “work” is that often this doesn’t feel like work.  Or if it does, then there’s no negative connotation around that word. 
When people talk about work one often hears complaints and negativity.  Comments like, “I can’t wait to get home,” or “Thank God it’s Friday” are commonplace.  Rarely do I hear, “I can’t wait to get to work” or “Thank God it’s Monday.”  People search and search and search for work and then complain when they have it.  I once had a client who said she was desperate to get a job.  She was worried that she would lose her home.  She didn’t know what she was going to do.  Then she got work.  When I talked to her again a few weeks later, she complained that she had too many hours! 
Sadly, this is the case for many people.  We say we will do anything to have a job, but then when we have it, we complain and/or we do as little as possible.  I think there are reasons for this.
·      The only goal is money.
·      The worker is not suited for the work.
·      Interpersonal issues are too much of a focus.
·      There is no passion or sense of purpose for the actual work.

The last reason is often the underlying cause of the other problems.  Or perhaps they are all interconnected.  It doesn’t matter.  What matters is that far too many people spend 40 hours a week or more doing something they don’t like. 
Work doesn’t need to be the focus of life, but one shouldn’t hate it either.  In a perfect world, we all go to work because we love our jobs and are well suited for them.  The next best thing is to like our jobs while having other parts of life we love.  The worst is to hate our jobs.  I’ve been in all three situations and the first one is the most desirable and the second one is acceptable.  The third is intolerable.  How then do we get to the first or second situation?
At the first level:
·      Find work that you feel passionate about.
·      Find work that suits your current skills or skills you can learn quickly.
·      Find work that you feel makes a difference in the world.
·      Find work that helps you grow personally and professionally.
·      Find work that is fun.
·      Find work that you would do for free.
·      Find work that aligns with your professional and personal goals.

At the second level:
·      Find work that you like.
·      Find work that suits your current skills or skills you can learn quickly.
·      Find work that does no harm,
·      Find work that does not leave you emotionally drained.
·      Find work that is a nice way to pass the time.
·      Find work that is fun.
·      Find work that you would continue doing at the wage you’re earning.
·      Find work that aligns with your professional goals.

Is work part of our purpose?  It can be but it doesn’t have to be.  The important thing is to enjoy it or at the very least, not hate it.  Right now I’m tired and I don’t want to do the work of writing.  But passion and joy trump fatigue.  So I Get Started and I Keep Going.  Tomorrow I will do the same and keep doing it for as long as it’s part of my Purpose.