Is It Possible to Change Your View of Work in a Positive Way?

Bill Abbate

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Do you enjoy what you do for a living? What words do you use to describe what you do?

I often refer to how I make a living as my job, work, or profession, while others call it their occupation, calling, position, or career. There are many words and ways to describe what we do for a living.

What does work mean to you?

What does the word you use most tell you about what you think of your job, if anything? The word you use to describe what you do can have little or significant meaning, depending on the individual. What if you made a conscious choice to use a word that not only describes how you see your work but how you feel about it or how it makes you feel?

For example, the word "job" is used in a negative connotation by some. To them, it may mean drudgery, toil, hard work, a grind, slog, or scraping by. The same can be said when some use the word "work" and other such descriptive words. To this group of people, "going" to work does not sound too enjoyable, does it?

Others will see the word "job" in a positive light. To them, it can mean something they love to do that is exciting, life-giving, enriching, thrilling, wonderous, motivating, or inspiring. This group of people look forward to, feel good about, and enjoy what they do to make a living.

The great thing about each of us as individuals is we get to choose how we view what we do in our work. We can choose to see it negatively or positively, as bad or good, terrible or terrific. No one can make this decision for us. It is a choice only we can make.

How do you view what you do for a living?

Up to this point in your life, how have you viewed what you do to make a living? Stop and take an honest assessment of how you have considered it so far. Have you seen it mainly in a positive light or had an unfavorable view? Perhaps you have seen it positive at times and negative at other times.

Your view may be dependent on the job. During my long career, I admit I would oscillate from a negative to positive attitude on what I did to make a living from one job to another.

Early on, I saw the work I did for a living as a real drudge. I did not find my first year of employment exciting in a good way. I chose to see my labor job as a difficult and inconvenient way to make a living. It didn't help that my boss was extremely demanding and tough.

I soon changed my view of working when I moved into a better job earning more money. It was still "work" to me in the negative, but at least it wasn't the trudge it had been.

During the years that followed, I came to see what I did for a living in a more positive and enjoyable way, other than a couple of jobs where I had difficulties with bosses. I allowed them to make my life miserable, and work became difficult under them.

Fortunately, when I got into sales and found my love for learning, my life started to change radically. It was around this time when I began to understand the words in the following quote.

"You may know for a certainty that if your work is becoming uninteresting, so are you; for work is an inanimate thing and can be made lively and interesting only by injecting yourself into it. Your job is only as big as you are." George C. Hubbs (1849-1927)

Changing the way you view work

My self-improvement journey had begun by learning from some of the greats like Jim Rohn and Earl Nightingale, with their recommendation of a little book written by James Allen titled As a Man Thinketh.

One of the most important things I learned from them was it was up to me to accept responsibility for the outcomes in my life. I began to understand how my thoughts controlled who I was and who I was becoming. It was up to me and no one else, especially no other boss, as to whether I enjoyed my work or not.

Hubbs was right. When I allowed my work to become uninteresting, it was on me and no one else. I discovered I had the power in me to make my work "lively and interesting … by injecting [myself] into it." My job truly is "only as big [as I am]."

Final thoughts

As it was for me, it is up to you to own the responsibility for the work you do. It is up to you to find a way to make it "lively and interesting… by injecting yourself into it." When you do, you can learn to love and enjoy your work. As the great author and statesman Samuel Clemens (a.k.a. Mark Twain) once stated:

"Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life." Mark Twain (1835-1910)

You can very well make your job something you enjoy doing if you decide to make it interesting and enjoyable. Why not use the advice of Hubbs, Twain, and Allen. Choose to take personal responsibility to make what you do for a living something you enjoy, and "never have to work [another] day in your life."!

You can do it if you want. Why not choose to begin today!

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Semi-Retired-Leadership/Executive Coach -Personal & Career Growth Expert -Editor and Leadership Writer at Illumination -Author

Richmond, VA
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