Doing what you Love requires WORK, lots of Hard Work!!

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? Do what you loveIn 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 waysHard Work 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.

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The Meaning of Living- According to Jim Carrey

Jim Carrey

One of my favorite Comedians has always been Jim Carrey, and Dumb and Dumber has been one of my all time favorite movies. I had previously heard that Jim Carrey is brilliant, and I had thought it was one of those things people say about someone. Today I had the privilege of listening to a Speech he gave at a University this year. I think it’s the most succinct compilation of thoughts I’ve ever heard that gives a glimpse of what Life is about. I took down a few of the ones that touched me, because they reflected the path that my life is on currently.  I highly recommend that you look at the video: Full Speech: Jim Carrey’s Commencement Address at the 2014 MUM Graduation

(The following is a few of the Quotes he gave in the speech, along with a few of my thoughts and why I think what he said is noteworthy)

  • You can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you Love (For me I see people living life according to what they think society and others want them to do, and many of them seem soo unhappy. So why not do something that you’re passionate about, something that makes you feel alive and vibrant at your core)
  • Live your life asking how can I have an effect on the world while I’m here?
  • Ask how can my gift change the world, not what can the world do for me.
  • What if people see me without my mask! (The lesson here is to not let fear and the EGO stop you from being your authentic self)
  • To find peace you first have to let the Armour go. (Instead of fighting against who you are, your authentic self, stop worrying about what the world thinks. The masks we wear prevent us from achieving full happiness. To find peace within ourselves, we must let go of all of these things)
  • Our need for acceptance, can also make you invisible. (We’re constantly striving to feel wanted and accepted, but as we continue to look to others to bring us satisfaction, we find that the goal is always moving. We continue to try, but can never accomplish what we set out to do. This race makes us loose our uniqueness, and we become invisible, we’re no longer our true selves)
  • To find Peace we must let our Light shine through, and take the risk to let ourselves be seen. (Remembering that we all have a gift, something unique that we bring to the world, that is our light, our beacon. Be must be willing to be seen with our flaws, our shortcoming. While recognizing that we bring a talent, a gift to share with the Universe. As Brene Brown would say, we must be willing to be vulnerable)
  • Don’t let Wealth, Fame, Prestige … distract you from your true purpose in life, which is to let your Light shine through!!
  • There should be nothing more important in this world than you. (Learn to embrace and invest time into perfecting your gift)
  • Don’t let your EGO(the voice that tells you that you’re not good enough) fool you, know that you already possess everything you want, believe it and it will come to pass.
  • Stop worrying about how your dreams will come through, just believe, and don’t get caught up on what the vessel looks like. If you miss your chance, the Universe will find a way to bring it back around again.

With each passing day, it’s ammazing what we can find that helps define our path. I’m happy that I’m at a stage in my life that I’m able to learn about these things. After all in the end I’d like to know that I’ve lived my life, and that I’ll be satisfied with what I’ve done. This is just one small stem towards that future. Thank you Kathleen for first posting this, and for guiding others to find their light.

 

 

 

Hindsight is 20/20, and so is HOPE!!!

Hindsight

 

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, I’m sure you’ve heard the old saying “Hindsight is 20/20” I think the same thing can be said about hope. Over the past week I’ve been hearing the same message about hope, but what is it? Why should we be hopeful? According to dictionary.com. Hope is: to look forward to with desire and reasonable confidencethe feeling that  what is  wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best. It takes confidence to be hopeful, confidence in yourself and your path. For me life is about balance, between past, present, and future. Between good and evil, positive and negative. Sometimes life is also about the grey areas, it’s not just Black and White. I was reading a post and came across a bible verse that I wanted to share.

As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth.  “Rabbi,” his John 9disciples asked him, “why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?” “It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,”  Jesus answered.  “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him. John 9: 1-3

 

Before I get more into talking about being hopeful, I thought it was good to get a little context. Sometimes our understanding is clouded by wrong beliefs. As we see from the example above, Jesus’s disciples thought the blind man was suffering because he did something wrong. As Jesus pointed out, suffering can also be a great opportunity for Love, grace, and miracles. I understand that all may not agree with the example I used, because not everyone agrees with my religious views, however please bear with me for a bit longer. Religious convictions can be some of the strongest, but even with religion we can still have wrong beliefs, and I believe that this example is one that demonstrates that point. But what does this have to do with hope? Just as Jesus’s disciples saw suffering as the result of some type of wrong doing, I believe it’s the same lie many of us tell ourselves. Life is full of good and bad, ups and downs, it can be a bit of a roller coaster. Although things happen to us, it’s not always a result of bad behavior, we’re not being somehow cosmically punished for our past mistakes.

Last week I read a post from thedailylove.com that reminded me that life is also full of nuances. In her post Donna Gates asks Are you Positive or Negative? At first I was a bit taken back by her post, because she suggested that we shouldn’t use those labels. After reading further I realized that she was on to something, sometimes we limit ourselves, and holding on to labels can do that. As I mentioned above life is sometimes nuanced, bad things may happen, and it’s not always a direct result of something we’ve done. In many cases, bad things can lead to victories, triumphs, and life changing revelations. The end of a romantic relationship, could lead to us finding ourselves, and then finding someone that’s better suited for us; but first we have to release ourselves from the old way of thinking.

The other important aspect of Hope is the past. If you’ve been in a similar or worse situation, it gives you confidence. From your past experiences you gain the strength to overcome other situations in the future. As I was jogging last week, I recalled a time in my life when I wasn’t sure what would happen next. Was I going to find meaningful work, will I ever find love, will I have enough money to pay my bills? As those thoughts slowly resurfaced, I realized that although I hadn’t found that “Great Job” financially I’m much better off now, and as for love, I’m learning to love myself. There are many things I consider myself to be; a positive person, an optimist, are among those labels. I also recognize though that there are many other nuances, I’m learning not to let my EGO mislead me. To not get a false sense of confidence, to recognize that my happy moments are giving me strength for the unhappy ones. By seeing where I’ve come from, it gives me strength to endure the day ahead. While I can say that I don’t suffer from depression, I do have my moments when I feel doubt and gloom come over me. In those moments though I’m able to reflect on where I’ve been, and with the help of those who love and care for me, and my faith of course, I’m able to pick my head up again. What I’m not saying is that I live with my head in the clouds, I don’t think that Life is always about lollipops and rainbows, but that it’s nuanced; and recognizing that saves me from inner turmoil.

Tools and practices to be more hopeful:

  • Life is not just black and white, sometimes it’s about the grey areas also. Recognizing where your beliefs are centered is the first step.
  • Your past experiences give you confidence for the future. Experience builds confidence, when facing a difficult situation, ask yourself what other similar situations have you faced before? Chances are you’re here now because you’ve survived past experiences.
  • Having a positive outlook doesn’t mean that you think things are always going to work out. Sometimes some challenges aren’t meant to be overcome, they are there to show us our limits.
  • Going through a bad experience doesn’t mean you’re being punished for something. Although there are consequences to our actions, that rule doesn’t apply to EVERYTHING. Sometimes some experiences are an opportunity for Love, Grace, Mercy, and Life Lessons. Learning to recognize the difference is an important aspect of having hope.

Hope

Master of YOUR Universe!!

“Oh Great today is going to be crap! Why can’t I have a great day today? There’s no way I’m going to be able to accomplish any of these things!”

Have you ever started your day off telling yourself these things? I caught myself thinking negatively about the upcoming day today. Not entirely sure why I was thinking this way, besides I had just gotten out of bed, the day hadn’t even had an opportunity to go either good or bad. Although I hadn’t even started my day, I was already thinking negatively. Not to worry I gave myself a mental kick in the rear, and ran as far away from that train of thought as possible. I thought it was interesting though, although I hadn’t even embarked on my day, I was already telling myself that it was somehow going to not go well.

Hope

I have hope because what’s the alternative to hope? Despair? If you have despair, you might as well put your head in the oven. – Studs Terkel.

I don’t think of myself as one of those people who sees the world through negative lenses, but somehow I was allowing myself to start the day on an unhealthy journey. The world is full of many things we can’t control, but I do have some control over my attitude and how I approach my day.

Based on my brief moment of insanity, here’s what I came away with:

  • Approach each day ready for the possibilities, by starting with a positive attitude, it will dictate how you approach things. An attitude of excitement and confidence, rather than feeling defeated and hopeless.
  • Be content with what I do have. Although having goals is a good thing, I also want to spend time in the present. Enjoy and appreciate the things I do have. I’m grateful that I have health, and freedom to practice any religion or way of life I choose. I have a job and there are endless possibilities that they can lead me to. Sure this is not where I’d like to end up, but if I’m not paying attention to my footsteps, how will I know where I’m going.
  • Take time to relax and enjoy. Even if it’s something as simple as my lunch, or observing people than come into my work, people watching can be a lot of fun.
  • Remember that I have control over my attitude, no one else can dictate how I feel about certain things. By recognizing that I have control, I will not give that up to someone else.

You can be the Master of your own Universe, don’t let other people dictate how your day will go. Well at least don’t give them the control to do it!

Master of the Universe

Are you Plugged In!!

Ever have that strange feeling that you’re plugged into the Universe?

You have a thought, then you find out others are thinking it too?

You think about someone and then they call you?

Ever since I’ve beenThe Daily Love following The Daily Love (thank you, you know who you are) I’ve felt more plugged in. Many of the times I write a new post, my inspiration comes from reading a post on there. Well today’s no different. I was taking a break to write in my journal, yup I said I have a journal, don’t judge; then again if you do I don’t care.  Ok let me stay on topic before I go off on a weird tangent. I read an article titled Weird Relationships and Loving what is by Liz DiAlto that was aligned with what I had just written in my journal. One of the lines she said that got me thinking was:

How can I love you all exactly as you are, be there for you in the moments we share and let you go when we hang up the phone, close out emails, and log off Facebook, Twitter and Instagram?


 

I had previously seen somewhere that it’s a good practice to be able to tap into your emotions, come to think of it I had probably read that on the Daily Love too. In another entry a few days ago I had made a note to be conscious of my inner feelings and emotions, to allow myself to feel. Instead of taking my emotions as invalid, to take them as an indicator of what’s going on inside my body. In that entry I also talked about allowing myself to take credit for things I do well, and to not admonish myself too badly for the things I don’t do well. In a way I wanted to use positive thought to put myself in a better state. If memory serves me right, that was learning to focus on positive reinforcement, instead of the negative voice in your head. I already have an EGO that tries to make me think little of myself (in this instance the EGO is the small voice who tells you you can’t …)

This train of thought followed up my previous post about Going All In, to give my work, life and relationships my all. To recognize that everything I do will require work, there’s no easy button to get the outcomes I desire.

In essence, by learning to plug into what I’m feeling, I can be more honest with myself. Instead of pushing certain emotions to the back of my mind because they don’t confirm to a certain view. Learn to listen to them, after-all those emotions are how my heart feels. Although I’m talking about tapping into my emotions, what I’m not saying is to be like a flag in the wind, to be blown to an fro with every slight breeze. By incorporating aspects of my mantra, 1. Don’t take things personally 2. Don’t make assumptions 3. Always do my best. This also allows me to also tap into what others around me are doing.

From the Article  Weird Relationships and Loving what is by Liz DiAlto, if for some reason you didn’t follow that link, here are her strategies:

1. Stop judging how we feel by first allowing ourselves to feel it instead of pretending we don’t. There is no should or should not when it comes to feeling – it’s all valid.

2. Notice the difference between OUR FEELINGS and the way other people’s reactions to our business make us feel. Meaning, if you feel something that isn’t “normal” or “common” by societal or cultural standards – don’t let the reaction of others make you feel wrong. Again, there is no right or wrong when it comes to feeling.

3. Communicate openly and freely, remembering that the true connections in our lives will make it through honesty and openness, in fact they will thrive in this kind of environment.

Life is complicated, I hope this brings some peace and clarity to the muddiness. I hope this finds everyone in good spirits, and if you’re not perhaps this could be a light in your dark day. After-all even a dim candle makes a difference in a dark room, don’t credit me for that one, I’m pretty sure someone much smarter first said it.

Plugged In