How many people do you know who can honestly say that they love what they do? Do you love what you do?
I heard a statistic a few years back that 87% of the working population is unhappy in their current job. That’s an awful lot of people spending an awful lot of time doing work that they don’t enjoy, for whatever reason. We can find a number of reasons for not loving what we do. Everything from not making enough money to my boss and I cannot find a common ground are reasons I’ve heard from a lot of people, including my family and friends. The list of reasons could go on and on, depending on whom we are talking to. But what if we asked the question a bit differently, like, what is it about your current job that you enjoy? This begins the process of thinking differently, one that suggests there is something that we like, and moves us into a more positive way of thinking about what we do. Essentially what we are doing is shifting their perspective, getting them to look at their situation through a new lens.
As Eckhart Tolle spells out in his book The Power of Now, when we’re faced with situations or people that no longer serve us well, we have three choices; we can accept things the way they are, we can try to change them, or we can walk away. Let’s take a look at each of these choices and see how they can play out with respect to our work.
- Accept things the way they are
If we choose to accept our job the way it is and do nothing, we better also choose to quit complaining. Complaining without doing anything causes all kinds of problems, least of which is no one likes to be around someone who complains all the time.
So how do you go from complaining all the time to accepting the job you have?
You start by looking at the things about your job for which you’re grateful. They could be as little as liking the fact that you get free coffee in the morning to the fact that you have a job and know that many people are struggling to put food on the table. The more we learn to start our work day thinking about what we enjoy, the more things that we enjoy start showing up.
- Try to change them
When you choose to try to change your job it gets you thinking about the things you like about your job as well as the things you don’t like. It often will help you realize that there are more things about your job that you like than you originally thought. It also moves your thought process into solution mode, something that’s hard to do when we’re in complaining mode. There may just be a simple solution that will result in you being much happier in your job than you ever thought possible.
- Walk away
Sometimes the best solution to finding the job and work that you love is to walk away from the job that’s holding you back. I would highly recommend that you explore the first two options first, but this choice is often what leads one to loving what they do. It can create an opportunity to take a step back and really think about how we want to spend our time going forward. Asking ourselves probing questions that get at the impact we want to make in people’s lives and our communities is a great place to start. Understanding who we are and what we value helps to direct our focus toward industries and organizations that fit who we are and what we care about. When we figure that piece out it ultimately leads to greater satisfaction at work and even gets us to loving what we do.