I was reading an article on Live Your Legend the other day, and they mentioned a letter that they received from a reader. This person loved the idea of finding and doing work that they love, but they shared the contrast of how they despised their current work so much that it was just killing their soul and they felt completely stuck in their present situation.
The thing is, so many people are in that same situation. I mean, there has been a huge shift already in the last couple of years. I used to hear the statistic that 80% of people hate their job, but recently, I heard that this statistic has gone down to about 70%. Whoopee, right?
I mean come on, we’re talking about the entire workforce here (in this case, it’s in the US, but I’m willing to bet it’s similar elsewhere) so a 10% shift is really a HUGE impact.
But it’s still not enough. There’s still so much work to be done.
Simon Sinek’s vision says it best: Imagine a world in which the vast majority of people return home each day feeling fulfilled by the work they do.
How amazing would that world be??
But let’s get back to our stuck friend. I read that message, and one question immediately popped into my head: Who says it’s impossible?
Flawed belief #1: Finding and doing work you love is not possible. Therefore, I am doomed to stay at my soul-sucking job.
Really? Well ok, if you say so. It’s not like there aren’t a whole bunch of people out there already doing work they love. Oh, you mean they’re the exception to the rule? The outliers?
Why can’t YOU be one of those outliers too?
Seriously though. Who says you HAVE to stay in your soul sucking job? Is someone pointing a gun to your head every day forcing you to continue working there? (I certainly hope not)
Or is it that all the jobs that you can apply to will be soul-sucking too?
That seems silly doesn’t it?
Flawed Belief #2: My job is a terrible, horrible, soul-sucking job, and it will remain so forever. Therefore, I must find something elsewhere.
Maybe you’ve already determined you do want something else (and that’s ok), but while you’re working on figuring out what that’s going to be, here’s another question:
Who says you HAVE to hate your job?
Do you really hate every single part of it? Is there truly nothing you could appreciate? Nothing? Not one single thing? Come on, I know you can think of ONE thing. Even the tiniest thing counts.
Maybe there’s one person there that you like talking to. Maybe your job allows you 30 minutes for lunch and maybe that means you could take that time to listen to uplifting and inspiring audios while you eat.
Start making lists.
Try this: Every day, think of 3 teeny tiny things that you can appreciate or be grateful for about your job; and add to it every day for 30 days. Even if it’s a stretch, it counts.
Maybe that means that you can appreciate the fact that you even HAVE a job to begin with.
Because let me tell you something:
No matter where you go, which job you apply to and get, you will always take yourself with you.
By that, I mean that if you don’t change your attitude, your perception of the work you do, of the environment you work in, of the people around you, I can guarantee you that you will inevitably find yourself in the exact same position in short order. It’ll just be different people and a different environment, but you’ll start to see a pattern. Don’t believe me? Keep doing what you’ve been doing. See what happens. Let me know how it goes.
Seriously though, it’s ok to not like the work you’re doing. We ALL do work we don’t like doing at some point in our career. And it’s ok to want more and to seek it out. But don’t you think it would be much better to find ways to enjoy at least some of your time along the way to something better?
Flawed Belief #3: Doing work you love is for “other people” but not for me. It’ll never happen for me.
Let me ask you this: What makes you so special?
Really. What makes you so special that you are the only one who will be forced to do the same boring job for the rest of your life, ESPECIALLY because you actually want the opposite?
Don’t get me wrong, there are people in this world who are perfectly content to do menial work day in and day out. They’re comfortable in their easy, repetitive, predictable status quo, and that’s ok. We still need people like that (for now).
But not you. You want something else. You want something better. You wouldn’t be here reading this if you didn’t.
Is it that you believe you’re supposed to just be HANDED your dream job?
Do you believe that you won’t have to work for it, and that it’ll just be gift wrapped for you and handed to you by a pretty fairy with a special twinkling wand?
Is that how special you think you are?
Of course you don’t think that. That’s silly.
But what makes you think you don’t have to do any work to get there?
What makes you think that finding and doing work you love is supposed to be easy?
And by work, I don’t mean “grinding” and getting things done, like so many others talk about. I mean do the deep, personal, emotional, ask yourself the hardest questions and face the answers like a grown ass human being questions, and DECIDE to make changes that will result in growth.
Growth, personal development, and wanting more out of life aren’t for the faint hearted. But it is so rewarding, and it is the ONLY way to change the course that you’re now on, and get to where you REALLY want to be.
So the only question left to ask now is: How much do you want it?