For my first ever Unabashed Optimist blog post, I thought I'd write about something near and dear to me; work. Specifically, I want to talk about my disdain for work. There is nothing I find enjoyable about work. This applies to physical work, as well as mental work. I guess there is no Irish work ethic in me; and I don’t think it has anything to do with not being Irish.
Now before saying anything else, I want to qualify work vs. activity. Although my wife is a witness to my grumblings over any form of housework or yardwork, I do love just about any physical activity. Skiing, running, hiking, biking, walking up and down the hills of San Francisco; even going shopping and carrying the groceries home. They are all good with me.
The same could be said for mental activity. Again, with my wife as my witness, I love to play chess online. I also love to read books. I love to discuss and debate politics, economics, music, sports, and even the social-anthropological-historical-roots for tendencies of men and women in the modern western world. The list goes on.
I guess the same love could be expressed for those activities that are both, neither, or something in between mental and physical depending on your paradigm. Those would include playing guitar, watching sports, listening to music, watching a good movie, cooking, eating, drinking, socializing with friends and family, and all the other sensory feelings I encounter in my daily life.
Now I’ve analyzed this many times over. Where does this love of activity come from? Is it my can’t-sit-still-mind? Am I a hedonism? Am I fundamentally or sub-consciously lazy? Did I morph into an elitist? Was I brought up without a work ethic? Some of these are patently untrue, others nail-on-the-head, with most some shade of grey. But I say none are “the” reason.
What I have come up with as an all-encompassing answer is quite simple. I am passionate. It’s easy to get passionate about stimulating and exciting and engaging mental and physical activities. At least it is for me. Maybe it’s my super-fantastic to ultra-supreme “normal day”, happy-person DNA. All I know is that I am passionate about all of them, and I zealously love every minute of each.
Of course, in order to participate in all of these activities, one needs to have the basics, like food and shelter, covered. Not being a trust-fund baby, that means me having a job. But isn’t a job work? Isn’t it a chore? Of course it is…. perhaps for you. For me, I can shout out a resounding, deafening "No!" I can honestly say there is nothing about my job that I consider work or a chore.
Why is this? What makes my job something that I look forward to jumping out of bed everyday, putting on the war paint, rallying the troops, and going out to slay the universe? It’s the same simple answer as for my love of all those personal activities mentioned above. It’s passion.
I am passionate about my job. As such, I feel like I’m not working when I “go to work”. And this feeling/belief is something that I’ve turned into advice; which I give to every young person exiting college whom I have met through my five (now grown) children and my 30+ years in business. Keep looking for a (different) career, until you find one that you are passionate about. Then, embrace it; each and every day. Attack your job like you would these pleasure activities I mention above.
What's my advise? Do the same. Keep looking for a job or career until you find one you are passionate about. Not only will you be rewarded with accolades and advancement, but you will go through life feeling like you never worked a day in your life. And trust me, that is a beautiful thing.