Enjoying Work

Bill Abbate

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Do you enjoy working? Considering how much time we spend at work, it is sad that some do not enjoy it and may even despise it. Imagine spending at least a third of each weekday hating what you do for forty or fifty years! Is that any way to live? Surely there must be a better way. There is!

How Do You Define Work?

What does work mean to you? Do you see it as "just a job," or do you see it as something more. As we begin this journey, let's look at the word's definition.

work (noun) 1. activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result. 2. a task or tasks to be undertaken; something a person or thing has to do. Oxford Languages

Which definition do you prefer? Do you like the first, where a person wants to achieve a purpose or result? Or do you view work as the second definition describes it – something you have to do?

Common sense tells us most people prefer to work because they want to, not because they have to. Wouldn't it be great to have work that fills your life and does not empty it? Work you enjoy, not forced to do?

There is a big difference between having to and wanting to.

When you have to, you see your job as just that, a job, as a way to get a paycheck which can lead to drudgery.

But if you see your job as rewarding and fulfilling, it becomes more than a job. Sure it still provides a paycheck, but you get something more from it. You understand it is part of your reason for being and how it shapes your life, who you are, and who you are becoming.

Can you see the secret? It is clear as day! It is a difference in your attitude!

I remember the drudgery I felt working as a laborer when I was young. Before long, I became one of the fortunate. I discovered that simply seeing what I did differently could change everything!

The Secret

The secret to enjoying your work is in that one simple word: Attitude!

"You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you." Brian Tracy (1944-present)

It made all the difference when I discovered how I looked at my work was up to me, not to someone else. Changing how I viewed my job changed my life and set me on a course to building a successful career. Rather than seeing work as a struggle, I began to see each day as an opportunity to learn and grow.

This shift in attitude changed my entire life. I started climbing the ladder of success, ultimately spending a good part of my career in high-level executive positions in multibillion-dollar enterprises.

Make the New Attitude Stick

How do you see work? Do you see it as mundane, monotonous, filled with sweat and toil? So long as you see it that way, it will be each of those things and worse.

Ask yourself this simple question: "What can I learn from my work?"

"A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way." Mark Twain (1835-1910)

How are you carrying out work in your life? If you continue carrying it incorrectly, it will remain unpleasant. If you think you can't think differently, you won't.

When you change how you see work, it will change. If you believe you can change your attitude, you can!

"Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right." Henry Ford (1863-1947)

Change your words from could have, might have, should have, to can have, will have, and do have.

"The saddest summary of a life contains three descriptions: could have, might have, and should have." Louis E. Boone (1941-2005)

Change from hating your work to appreciating it. Choose to see it differently.

"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." Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931)

If you don't like your work, change it or change yourself. You are a free person living in a free country, not a victim of oppression in a communist country or a dictatorship. You are free to choose so long as you choose to be free. Why accept anything less?

"If you don't like how things are, change it! You're not a tree." Jim Rohn (1930-2009)

Move your life ahead full steam. Find what you love. Find what inspires you. Even if it means staying where you are, you can find it there if you want to!

"Never continue in a job you don't enjoy. If you're happy in what you're doing, you'll like yourself, you'll have inner peace. And if you have that, along with physical health, you will have had more success than you could possibly have imagined." Johnny Carson )1925-2005

Final thoughts

Rarely is the change you seek ever "out there" somewhere or in something else. The change you need is within. You can choose to see your work differently, so why not give it a try? It is your choice, and it is up to you, so choose wisely.

I challenge you to take to heart this final quote from a survivor of the horrors of the Holocaust.

"When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves." Viktor E. Frankl (1905-1997)

Take charge of your life. Adopt the attitude that you love your work, and your life will change before your very eyes!

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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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