“Work is love made visible. And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy.”
I’ve always been a firm believer in doing what I love, including my job(s). And, I’ve vigorously applied this belief throughout my life. If I was ever in a situation, whether personal or professional, and I felt it was draining the joy from my life, I made the choice to take action and change that situation.
How would I know if my job was the joy-draining kind? Well, I’d wake up in the morning or afternoon or evening (depending on the shift I was assigned for that particular job) and I would feel this mind-numbing dread set in when I thought about going to work. I wouldn’t be able to reconnect with what I initially enjoyed about the job and the 8-hour shift (or 10 or 12, again, you get the idea) would feel like solitary confinement except most times I had to deal with other inmates, who were just as unhappy to be there as I was. Or, worse yet, the wardens, who’d resigned themselves to a life sentence of joyless employment way before my arrival.
Living these beliefs sometimes meant I switched jobs a couple times a year. Sometimes this meant I dropped new relationships. Sometimes this meant I revamped my hobbies to include more fulfilling ones. This type of behavior can appear somewhat flaky to certain people. I just never cared what people thought especially when I’ve heard the majority of those people ranting and raving, usually to the tune of, “Man, I hate my job. I wish I could [insert their dream profession here].” I’m not flaky. I just do instead of wish.
Sure it can be scary as hell taking the leap to leave a safe, comfortable position in your current prison. Hell, in prison you get free cable, free meals and free healthcare. But can you grow? Will you be able to pursue your passion? Is there anything fun and fulfilling in staying safe and comfortable? Not for me there isn’t. How about you?
[Now, don’t get my beliefs confused with laziness or apathy. I think keeping only the jobs I enjoyed allowed me to really grow as an individual, to see what I was made of. I would work my ass off even if I was just getting paid minimum wage. If I loved the job I was doing, enjoyed my co-workers, felt the managers were genuine, my loyalty to the job had no bounds. I would cover AWOL employees with 15 minutes notice on my one day off. I’d come in early to get a head start on a big project and I’d do so off the clock to save on that month’s payroll budget. I’d read books or take online classes to sharpen skills I could use at my job, again, on my own time. That is how I knew I loved my job–I would do anything to make my work a reflection of me and all of the good I could offer. So, please don’t get my attitude confused with the very normal, “I just don’t feel like going to work today,” that almost everyone experiences at some point or another throughout their lives.]