Don't settle for anything less...
Let me ask you this, are you enjoying your job? Does it fulfil your purpose? Does it make you happy? Do you leap out of bed in the morning because you cannot wait to do the work that you are paid to do?
If yes, then brilliant! Keep doing what you are doing. If no, then is it time to re-assess your situation?
Read this quotation from the American author, Kurt Vonnegut:
“When I was 15, I spent a month working on an archaeological dig. I was talking to one of the archaeologists one day during our lunch break and he asked those kinds of 'getting to know you' questions you ask young people: Do you play sports? What’s your favourite subject?
“And I told him, 'No I don’t play any sports. I do theatre, I’m in choir, I play the violin and piano, I used to take art classes.' And he went, 'WOW. That’s amazing!' And I said, 'Oh no, but I’m not any good at ANY of them.'
“And then he said something that I will never forget and which absolutely blew my mind because no one had ever said anything like it to me before: 'I don’t think being good at things is the point of doing them. I think you’ve got all these wonderful experiences with different skills, and that teaches you things and makes you an interesting person, no matter how well you do them.' And that honestly changed my life.
“Because I went from a failure, someone who hadn’t been talented enough at anything to excel, to someone who just did things because I enjoyed them. I had been raised in such an achievement-oriented environment, so inundated with the myth of talent, that I thought it was only worth doing things if you could 'win' at them.”
Wow. What do you think?
This really spoke to me. It set me thinking about the clients that I have had - past and present - who have started working with me doing a job they do not enjoy. They were so unhappy, disillusioned, sometimes despairing that they would never find anything else.
The take away from the quotation for me is that it’s the ‘doing’ that is important; not the winning; not even the losing. No. It’s the doing. The doing because you enjoy something.
I believe that if you are in a job you are enjoying, which makes you happy, that gives you purpose, and fulfils you, then it won't feel like work at all. In fact, it feels nothing like work!
I was recently told the story of the army officer who was coming to the end of his career in the military and was in two minds about what to do next: a career in the City working in finance (a typical route for many leaving the military), or a new career as a carpenter.
When the storyteller came across him a few years later, he asked what the former officer was now doing. He was being the carpenter. Why? It certainly wasn't because he was earning lots of money. It was because it was something he always wanted to do. He loved it. It did not feel like work. He was happy.
I wonder how he might have been if he'd followed the expected route into the City? I don't think he would have lasted very long because the City job would not have been fulfilling his purpose, regardless of the salary he could have earned. His decision making was not about money, it was about passion, purpose and motivation. It was this that brought him happiness.
As I said at the beginning, are you enjoying your job? If yes, keep doing what you are doing. If no, it's time for a reassessment. Don’t settle for anything less than doing what you enjoy.
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