The other day my son came home from babysitting and collapsed on the couch. He said, “I’m sooooooo tired.” He could barely keep his eyes opened as he mumbled. “I like playing with Luke but today I had to help him with 2 hours of homework and it was brutal.” I kind of chuckled empathetically as I watched my 15 year old reflect on his first “job”.
I replied “ Yes and that’s why it’s so important to do work that you love. Some people feel this way every day" I added “But sometimes you also have to find ways to love what you do”
Probably not coincidentally (I always believe there is a reason) that has come up quite a bit with my clients lately. Many of them have started doing what they love, yet are coming to weekly sessions drained and overwhelmed or as someone said “I feel like I’m on a roller coaster and I can’t get off. And I love roller coasters but gees I just need it to stop for a second.”
Yes sometimes we do need it to just stop for a moment. Sometimes we need to stop to reflect and appreciate what we have and reconnect to the joy of what we fell in love with in the first place.
While I am on a huge believer in finding what you love, here are 5 strategies for loving what you do.
It turns out that selfless intention is ultimately more motivating and fulfilling. Now that doesn’t mean your needs don’t count and you should relinquish all modes of self-care and personal satisfaction. It simply means if you are struggling to get through your endless to do list and feel tired and stressed all the time, it might be worth connecting to your larger purpose. Who would love what you do? Whose life might be different as result? What greater benefit do these tasks serve?
Perfect, is an ever-moving target, it can’t be clearly defined or measured and therefore can never be reached. It’s an impossible goal that I believe is one of the biggest imposters that suck up and destroy our energy and joy.
If you are feeling more burdened that joyful, take a look at how you are measuring your success. Do you have goals that are measurable and achievable? Are you celebrating them or dismissing them as “not that big of a deal”? Yes, it’s important to put our focus and intention on a greater good. It’s also incredibly important to enjoy the journey. To celebrate our success and to allow ourselves to feel proud of our accomplishments.
Other studies have linked higher cortisol levels in women with messy and disorganized spaces. Also, people with dark cluttered homes more often suffer from anxiety and depression.
Creating an environment that is light, clean, organized, and happy will boost your executive functioning, productivity and over all well-being. Look around your work space…..is it neat? Is their healthy lighting? Does it have pictures or objects that make you smile? If possible are you able to bring in aspects of nature…either a view or a plant?
Recalibrate Life Fulfillment: We are not efficient or effective when we work non-stop all day, every day. That instead is a recipe for burn out and can turn work you love, into work you hate.
In order to keep the passion and energy alive in all areas of your life, it's important to look at it from a holistic perspective. I"ve never been a fan of the term work -life balance. To me it's a cousin of perfectionism because it doesn't really exist. There is no balance set point, it's a constant process of calibration.
So I prefer to look at it from a work- life fulfillment point of view. Are there certain areas of your life that get a lot of attention and others that are somewhat ignored? Check out the Wheel of Life quiz here to see what needs calibrating in your life. Remember, the more you are able to seek enjoyment from friends, family, relationships and fun activities, the more creativity and inspiration It'sgets infused into your work life as well.
Growth and contribution are considered more elevated needs as they are so deeply tied to a person’s happiness and fulfillment.
Just as contribution or “doing what others would love” brings out the best in us, so does growth. Learning and stretching ourselves outside our comfort zones improves brain efficiency, elevates mood, increases creativity, and helps us thrive longer.
So what is an area of work or life where you can grow? How can you find creative and fun ways to do things, even the most mundane tasks? That inspiration can breathe new life and energy into your day.
It's so important to find ways to motivate, calibrate and celebrate your life. This weekend, my husband and I lost of friend of ours. She passed away from cancer and was diagnosed only 5 months ago!!! Life is short and we never know what tomorrow will bring. So I encourage you to go for the things you want, spend time with the people you love and enjoy the things that you do!.
Go Out and Shine
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