Don’t Sell Your Soul for Work You Don’t Love

love-what-you-do-and-you-ll-never-work-a-day-in-your-life-383825-475-475_largeWhy would someone continue to work if they didn’t have to?

It’s a mindset that is pretty pervasive in our culture.  People think that if you are still working that life is not “working out” as well as you would like.

I would be bored to death without a job.  I need to be working (doing something) constantly, and I would rather the work be incredibly meaningful to me.  But according to recent polls, more than 75% of us are disgusted with our jobs.  When I think about it, I would say 3 out of every 4 people I encounter daily dislike their jobs; that figure is accurate when compared to the data.

Think about it:  we spend most of our waking hours at work — occupations that we strove for since we were young — but at some point we need to ask ourselves what these occupations really amount to in the big scheme of life.  Just because we strove for the work when we were younger doesn’t mean it is right for us for the rest of our life.

Our work defines us.  As I wrote in a previous post, the first question we often ask others is “what do you do“?

I get it.  Without work, many of us feel we don’t have an identity.  I know I feel that way.  If I can’t explain “what I do”, it is hard (if not impossible) to explain who I am.

It pains me to watch someone with talent and potential waste their life in a job; employed but disengaged.  I have always sought out work where I can take the best of what is in me and express it to anyone and everyone.  My dad taught me that my work should give my life dignity and meaning, regardless of what the work is.  He was right.  It’s not easy to execute it, but it is imperative that we try.

We all have a choice about how we view our work.  We can think of it in terms of obligations and “to-do” lists, or we can see it as a challenge and constant opportunity.  If we don’t enjoy what we do for a living, our work certainly won’t impress anyone else.

A lot of people who are unhappy at work equate a good job with money, benefits, and security.  I’m done with that.  We all need to be engaged with seeking out work that allows us to express our talents.  Otherwise, what are we doing here on Earth for this very finite time?  Playing it safe?  Come on…

Even when we are in a dead-end job, we are reluctant to change things.  Why?  Often, it’s because we are caught up with a pursuit of stuff, status, and material possessions.  We have all put ourselves in a huge bind.

I have found that the happiest people are the ones who are deeply involved in their work.  After all, work is a natural outlet for our energy and passion (at least for me).  Nothing is better than loving “what we do” and feeling that it matters.


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