“Don’t expect your boss, co-workers and customers (clients) to make you happy – realize that happiness is an inside job. Our happiness has less to do with forces outside of us and more to do with what’s inside of us. The way we think about work, feel about work, and approach our work influences our happiness at work.” – Jon Gordon
We hear a lot these days about “finding your passion”, especially in regards to work. We’re supposed to figure out the one thing we’re supposed to be doing in the world, the thing that really energizes us and that we’re incredibly fired up about. Then we’re supposed to focus on doing that one thing all the time.
I don’t totally disagree. I do think that each of us is wired differently. There are certain kinds of things that we’re naturally going to be more excited to do or that give us energy. I do think it’s a good idea to try and find or create a career that allows you to focus on those things.
That said, I hear a lot of people say that they aren’t happy at work and therefore need to find another job. They say it as though if they could just find the “right” job, they’d suddenly be happy and unstressed and every morning they’d wake up a sprint to the office. This “right” job would align with their passions and all would be right with the world.
Unfortunately, most of those people never really find the “right” job. They keep looking for it their entire careers and never really find it. After a few decades, they just give up and retire.
The point is that there has to be a balance. You should look for work that energizes you and that you’re passionate about. However, you can also choose what your attitude is about the work you’re currently doing.
You can choose to be engaged. You can choose to seek purpose in any work you’re doing. You can choose to see whatever you’re doing that day as important and worth doing at a high level. You can choose to have a positive impact on everyone around you through your work.
Think about your current work situation. What do you think about what you’re doing? Do you view your work as important, or a chore? Do you view your work as something to put all your energy into, or as something to be endured until quitting time?
It is possible that your current job or career isn’t the perfect one for you. It is possible you need to work to find some kind of change. But it is also possible at the same time to choose energy and impact in the work you’re doing. Where you are, make it the place you’re supposed to be today.