I love what I do. There is never a Monday that comes along when I think: “Ah no a whole week of work in front of me…” But I’ve only recently started thinking about why I love what I do because I’ve had so many people ask me of late. And I’ll let you into a little secret…it’s easy but it means spending less time doing and more time being.
Let me explain.
We are all caught up in doing stuff. We’re all busy. When last did you hear someone say they aren’t busy? But busy doing what?
Busy worrying about making someone else happy? Busy doing your to-do list? Or busy on the small things because you haven’t prioritised the big things, or you haven’t planned properly or you are putting them off?
Sound familiar? We’ve all been there at some stage — in fact, a lot of us are stuck there right now.
Sometimes we get out of that pattern only to return to it and eventually our busyness wears us down; life becomes a grind, our health suffers, our relationships suffer, small things become big things, we become irritable, short with the people closest to us, insular.
Our busyness starts ruining our lives. We create more pressure on ourselves, we become anxious and, in some instances, more serious mental health issues emerge.
So how do you change this pattern and start loving what you do?
I haven’t thrown out my to-do list and yes I am busy but it’s not about that, it’s about getting a combination of the following things right which makes life more enjoyable and gives what I do perspective:
- Make time to be healthy and make it a habit. Some people find this really hard but once it’s a habit it’s easy. Find a way to commit to someone else – a friend or friends (for me its surf skiing with a group of mates three times a week before work), a spouse or pet (I walk the other four days of the week with my wife and dog Tyson), a family member, etc.
- Do you make time to see your family and friends? And when you are with them are you present? Are you engaged and are you really listening? I had a boss once who was never present. You never felt you were getting through to him, even when he was ‘listening’, his eyes were distant and you knew from his responses and his questions that he wasn’t present. It’s not a nice feeling and no-one close to you deserves this.
- Are you making time to be charitable, do something in your community, and give back? Are you making time to be there for someone in need?
- Do you ever take time to be in the moment like stopping to pat a dog, smell a flower, watch a wave on the beach, a sunset, strangers walk by, a kid chasing a seagull, do you take notice of a tree’s green shoots in spring or its amber hues in autumn, do you listen to that busker you pass daily, sit in the sun outside your office and drink your coffee or speak to the barista who made it, do you say please and thank you, or thank the driver behind you for letting you in…?
As small and as inconsequential as these may seem, it is more about the appreciation of what life has to offer all around us which builds our appreciation and makes us more aware of how much there is to enjoy.
It is these moments collectively that give us perspective which, in turn, helps us realise our busyness is actually not that bad, not even that important and that there are other things in life which help balance how we see the world and our place in it.
The point is we each have to make our happiness work for us. But it requires working on it all the time. It is a conscious decision every day and one which allows us the time to absorb, enjoy and be thankful for what is around us instead of letting life pass by buried by loads of busyness.
But let’s be sanguine; if none of this works and you still dislike your job, quit and find something better. Life’s too short.