Happy Tuesday, with a new day brings new possibilities to do life differently. My last post Coming into my Masculinity Full Circle was a bit more intimate, in that I was willing to share things about myself that were more personal. It was completely unexpected that I would get as much love and acknowledgement that I got. I generally am a private person, so giving details about my journey to virtual strangers wasn’t easy, but in doing so I believe I got one step closer to my goal. I started writing so that I could look back and see where I came from, and my transformation on the way. One of my newest followers from my latest post begintobelieve was also one of the many things that inspired me this week, with the post “How to stay Connected to your Purpose…”
This past Saturday I had a bad day at work, a series of experiences had me questioning whether it was time for something new! I however quickly got over it, because for most of the week I was being primed by various things I saw. The constant message that I got was that work, will be hard, and at times unbearable. For most of us that’s what work is, it’s something we do because it will give us the resources to do other things that are more important to us. Besides a bad day at work is by no means a rare occurrence, so why was I so easily ready to “throw in the towel?” Although I left on Saturday feeling frustrated, the following day I went in with an attitude of grace, kindness, and an overall good mood.
I had a Bad Day, so what!!
I think part of the reason I was able to bounce back is because of a few things I saw during the week. I don’t have the Job I want now, but it doesn’t mean I can’t continue to work towards what I want. One of the lessons my new job has thought me is that I get great satisfaction from working with my hands, and fixing things. While the interaction with other people might not be pleasant, I will still have overall satisfaction from what I do. It’s also interesting that the same week I decide to “Go all In” meaning that I would continue to find ways to get what I want out of my job, my boss approached me with an opportunity for more responsibility in my first job. To make it more appealing, the new responsibilities involved me working with my hands, and using my mechanical ability to find problems and implement solutions. Having a bad day was a way for me to face a fear that has been hidden for sometime now. I just became another year older with my Birthday a month ago, and I keep feeling that I’ve failed because I don’t have the career I think I should have. The reality though is that most of us don’t have the career we desire, and we learn to make do with what’s in front of us, and make the best of it. By giving my all in my current jobs, I’m putting myself in a position for recognition for other responsibilities. After-all the new responsibilities I got was my boss’s idea, although it’s something I was thinking about, he initiated the conversation.
Do what you Love, and you’ll never WORK a day in your life!!
I’ve heard that saying over and over again, but are we setting ourselves up for failure by thinking that way? In a way it’s the “I’ll get that great job and then…” syndrome. Getting a great job is a great goal, but that job WILL come with challenges. I feel that thinking if I do something I love I’ll never work isn’t giving the real picture. While some hobbies are fun, it doesn’t mean that you will yield something that’s financially sustainable. Doing something you love does come with work, you face new challenges, uncertainty, and failure at every turn. So while you’ll be happy, does it mean you’ll be happy 100% of the time. My Pastor Steve touched on this recently also, sure he loves teaching, but there are times he would rather do a mundane task such as “pumping gas” It touches on the larger point that we expect 100% satisfaction form what we do. In my Research on “Workplace Motivation” for my Business Psychology degree, I found the same evidence. I interviewed multiple participants, and none of them were 100% happy with their jobs. What they were though was largely satisfied with what they do, and the person who rated themselves as highly satisfied, gave a self rating of 9 out of 10. Although they were highly satisfied, there was still plenty of room for growth. They were working in a once in a lifetime opportunity, and was something that they weren’t looking for. When I hear stories of people who made a profession out of something they’re passionate about, I’m cautious in my rush to emulate them. Sometimes you have to ask is that person is the exception or the rule. Put another way not everyone will find meaningful work, and and what they do may not be financially sustainable. The majority of us will have to make do with what we have.
Find ways to incorporate your passion into what you do NOW!
“Get creative! From time to time come up with ideas on how to incorporate what you love into your work while staying in line with doing what you have to do.” – begintobelieve
While it might not be possible for all of us to find something we love, and make it a career. The opportunity still exists to find ways to incorporate our passion into our current work. I think it was interesting that when I accepted that idea, God/The Universe delivered on that promise. As I mentioned earlier I was offered an opportunity for more responsibilities at one of my current jobs, and the new responsibility was aligned with what bring me satisfaction at work. Sometimes work isn’t always going to bring us everything we’re looking for. There’s no rule that says you can’t do something you’re passionate about outside of work. A friend has been telling me for months now to volunteer at my church, she thinks I would be great in a Counseling/Teaching role, and for a long time I’ve been ignoring her. I think I was looking for a “One Stop Shop” kind of opportunity. Perhaps my journey is to devote myself to various areas, and each bringing me a different satisfaction, and together they’ll give me the kind of satisfaction I’m looking for; it may take some juggling.
What’s your Priority!
Where do you rate work? My Pastor Steve made a great point this weekend “We’re not supposed to be completely satisfied with WORK” Or put another way, there are other things in our lives that should be more important than work. His priorities looked something like this 1. God 2. Family 3. Others 4. Work 5. Church. I thought it was both interesting and refreshing that “The Church” came where it was on the list, while church is important, it’s not meant to be everything in your life, not even more than family and fostering other relationships. When I say Church, I’m talking about the physical building, not your devotion to God. While work does give you money, which gives you resources, and those resources to build a better life. I see many people putting work before their relationships, and for me that’s a deal breaker. Sometimes I know I’m guilty of putting work ahead of many things, “I can’t take this weekend off, or I can’t go to that event, I have to work” One of the things I learnt in my Research about Workplace Motivation is that it’s about a balance, those who were happiest didn’t think that work was everything. So while work is important, it can’t be my only source of happiness. What about family, friends, nature or other aspects of life? It’s also true that I’m not currently in the particular field that I think will bring me satisfaction, but I can’t let that be my only source for happiness, I have to find ways to diversify my happiness portfolio.
Thank you for reading, as I continue on my journey, I hope that we can influence each others. I find that others can be a great source of inspiration, of course looking within is also key. We spend most of our time at work, I hope we can learn to find ways to make it more satisfying. After all it’s called a Work/Life balance for a reason, we’re supposed to have a mix between work and life.