How often do you hear stories about people who’ve accepted positions at companies they didn’t care about and for roles they despised, only to make a lucrative career out of it? You don’t. Because this kind of thing doesn’t happen.
The truth is, one of the keys to success is to actually love what you do. This doesn’t mean that you have to love every aspect of your job all the time, of course. There will be days when you’ll dread getting out of bed in the morning. There will be projects that will test your patience and aptitude. There will be difficult situations that arise with employees, other executives, and even clients.
Every working professional experiences similar ups and downs, but here’s the difference: when you love what you do, these hurdles are just temporary setbacks to overcome that will push you to grow as a leader. But if you don’t enjoy what you do, these hurdles gradually accumulate and weigh heavily on your shoulders, eventually squeezing you of all of your happiness and self-regard.
People like Brandon Stanton and J.K. Rowling are telling examples of this. Both Stanton and Rowling were adamantly passionate about the projects they were working on but were ignored and rejected for years. Such consistent rejection would have caused most people to abandon their projects in pursuit of something else. Still, Stanton and Rowling’s passion left them determined to find success somehow — and that’s exactly what happened. Stanton went on to create Humans of New York, and Rowling became famous for writing the Harry Potter series.
Let’s talk more about the importance of passion.
Why is liking your job so important, to begin with?
If it weren’t for money, most people wouldn’t even think twice about showing up for work. Because money is a necessity for life, work is just a means to an end for so many. But this is only because many people aren’t passionate about what they do.
Whether we realize it or not, we all have a natural desire to find fulfillment in our lives. And because we spend a third of our lives working, it’s so important that we find some semblance of internal satisfaction at our jobs, or else we risk being miserable for 30 percent of our lives. The effects of hating your career are pretty horrifying, to say the least.
Study after study shows that job unhappiness can result in depression, anxiety, and insomnia. Still, so many people suffer through the workweek. But when you do what you love, you will be more energized, maintain a more positive outlook, be more productive at work, and just be all-around happier. This is what pushes us to grow, which makes us more successful; when you care about what you do, you work harder to be the best.
You can fall in love with what you do
If we’re being honest, not everyone will be able to work a glamorous job or become wealthy by monetizing their favorite talent. However, this doesn’t mean that they won’t be given an opportunity to find success. We all are afforded that luxury if we just simply work on shifting our mindset about our careers.
Start by identifying the things that truly make you happy in your current position. If it’s helping people, go above and beyond to assist every customer and team member. If you have a competitive nature and desire to excel at everything you do, put yourself up to the daily challenge and take on tasks and responsibilities outside of your usual job description. And if your passion is simply to increase your earnings, commit to doing whatever it takes to make more money.
The best thing about passion is that it can be found everywhere.
What if you can’t find passion in what you’re doing?
No job is perfect. Even your dream job will have a thing or two that you could live without. But, if your job seems to be the sole source of misery in your life, you might want to do a little self-reflecting. First, determine what it is that you don’t like about your job. Is it your coworkers? Is it the pay? Does your boss micromanage you and your team? Some of these circumstances can only be rectified by a complete job switch, but bear in mind that a new scenery comes with its own set of challenges. So, just be sure that this issue isn’t one that will find you wherever you go.
If you decide to stay put, adjust your mindset and environment to your greatest benefit. Make a practice of showing up to work about 15 minutes earlier to give you more time to adjust to the day. Declutter your work area, and give it a deep clean. Set up positive quotes and affirmations. Request feedback from your peers and superiors so that you know what you need to work on and which areas you excel in. Look at problems through solution-based lenses, and give each task your best effort, no matter what. This will provide you with the fuel needed to continuously reach new heights and face adversity head-on.
A healthy mind and body are sure to give you a more promising future no matter what your plan is, so never neglect your self-care. Getting at least eight hours of restful sleep each night, choosing healthier meals, and limiting your sugar intake will give you a clearer head and a more functional body throughout the day. Also, don’t forget to pick at least one physical activity each day, even if it’s just a 10-minute stroll around your neighborhood. These changes might sound unrelated, but being more mindful in other areas of your life, it will become so much easier to reach your career goals without sacrificing yourself in the process.
Though success is often linked to being financially abundant, this doesn’t always have to be the case. Though we would all like more money in our pockets, the invaluable feelings of confidence, purpose, and accomplishment are just as sweet. But the good thing is that if you commit to falling in love with your career, you set yourself up to experience success in all of its forms, giving you the life that you’ve always wanted.
Beth Pradelli is the co-founder of Nature City.
How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.