Given that the average human being spends more time working than in almost any other activity, it is critical that we enjoy our work. Joy is the foundation of a healthy, prosperous and fulfilling life. Unfortunately, most surveys say that 60-70% of workers dislike their jobs and are looking to get out of Dodge. I have no idea where Dodge is, but they want out of there.
Unfortunately, displeasure with work is actually detrimental to health as evidenced by risks including weight gain, loss of sleep, and broken relationships, all of which increase the level of daily stress– the root cause of maladies as serious as heart disease. Conversely, however, satisfaction with work is a leading ingredient to a happier, healthier life. So, how do we get there?
First, do what you love. Although not everyone can figure out how to make a living at golf, hunting, shopping, travelling, or crafts –and the list goes on–enjoying the work you do is the ultimate goal. This may be easy to say and tough to do, but it is more possible if you are not solely focused on the money you make.
Second, whatever you do, perform well. Value your work, rather than working solely for money. When you view your job as critical to the good of others, your perspective shifts in a healthy way. Who are all the people that benefit from what you do? Think about all the ancillary as well as direct beneficiaries of your work.
Third, the most beneficial recommendation in all of life, especially work, is to recognize our ability to turn the radio dial in our mind. Our thoughts, good and bad, affect us. And, just as good thoughts uplift us and others around us, the reverse is also true. So while it is not easy to change the station on the radio when you are listening to it, consider these steps to Radio Liberty. Instead of listening to people who hate their work environment, surround yourself with those who see the value of work as you do. Stop when you hear negative thoughts and decide to take small steps to think of the positive thoughts. Ironically, when our focus shifts to the positive, we see it more frequently. It’s a better station.
Finally, introducing Scotty: Scotty sits at the security desk in my building and sees his job as significant. He delivers all newspapers to each floor, and while the rule is I am to pick mine up downstairs, Scotty delivers my paper; he views the task as his duty to his customers. His professionalism is a model for all of us: when the papers are not delivered, he calls the delivery people to resolve the problem; he greets everyone in and out of the building. It’s a joy to see and work with Scotty every day, and he teaches each of us quite a lot about the powerful benefits of enjoying our work.