If you won the biggest 649 lottery, what profession would you choose? The vast majority of people declare a profession that is totally different from the one I’m in! Some say they wouldn’t ever work again, but I suggest that, after a while you’d get bored of being so rich and idle. Even Bill Gates works!
There are plenty of reasons why so many of us stay in our safe and respectable jobs. If you find yourself feeling wistful, and know that you used to have more passion for your profession than you do now, think of that 70’s song, by Steven Stills, If you can’t be with the one you love, Honey, love the one you’re with…. My variation is, If you can’t be in the job you’d love, HONEY, love the one you’re in!.
Some may think that the only way to rekindle passion for their profession is to quit. You don’t have to quit, but you do have to decide to be passionate! Often times it takes a bolt of lightning, or a whack on the head, to make us change our ways. Its human nature to respond more effectively and quickly to pain, than to pleasure. That’s why the horse gets a giddy up kick to get going!
Many of us need the spurs to move along. It helps if we experience an Epiphany, a.k.a. a Significant Emotional Event. Interesting that this expressions acronym is S.E.E. It often takes a SEEing to decide, from now on I’m going to put more passion and energy into my days! That SEEing may come as a job loss, life threatening illness, or death of a loved one–something that really gives you a life jolt and makes you reassess. I also call it a C.B.K….Cosmic Butt Kick. But if you haven’t had a SEEing or a CBK lately, it may be hard to muster up passion for your profession–especially if you’re bored, over stressed, or work with (or for) negative people! It may be hard, but it can be done. For your own sake!
Here are eight suggestions for reconnecting with your passion:
1. Positive Self-Talk: How are you thinking about your work? How do you feel about Mondays? Do you relate to that old song by The Mamas and The Papas, Monday Monday, Cant Trust that Day? How do you feel about Fridays? TGIF? Noticing how we feel about the rhythm of our week tells us a lot about the negative or positive feelings we have for our work! How do you feel on Sunday afternoon around 5 pm? Monday mornings just as you arrive at your place of work? Ever say, Thank God it’s Monday? Positive self-talk is a big part of feeling passion for your profession.
2. Professional Self-Worth: Most people don’t realize their terrific contribution. Make yourself answer these questions:
- What abilities come easily to me?
- What skills do I demonstrate better than most?
- How have I grown in the past year?
- What is the most important lesson I learned last year and how am I applying that lesson in my personal and professional life this year?
- What are the most difficult things I’ve accomplished in this position?
- When it comes to doing my job well, what am I proudest of?
- What, about my contribution, would I most like to receive compliments on?
3. Humour: Do you complain about laughing too much at work? Nurture your sense of humour because there are two dreaded diseases out there that could easily find you: Psychosclerosis (hardening of the thinking) and HDS (Humour Deficiency Syndrome)!
4. Perspective: Perspective has everything to do with how we look at Control. Think of Control like the weather. When you go outside you get what evers there! You may not be able to control but you can learn to influence, persuade and inspire.
5. Purpose: Why do I do this job anyway? It’s easy to come up with some quick answers: the mortgage/rent, vacations, kids activities, etc. Its easier to stay the course when you deeply know why you’re doing what you’re doing. Ask yourself, five times, Why do I do this job? and for each answer, ask, And why is that important to me? By the time you get to the fifth Why you’ll be getting close to your real purpose.
6. Energy and Enthusiasm: Energy is the groundwork for enthusiasm. The only thing more contagious than enthusiasm is…the lack of it!. Practice daily strategies for taking care of your physical and emotional energy.
7. Persevere: You may be in the right job but still get into a bit of a periodic funk. Cut yourself some slack and persevere! Blue periods disappear sooner or later. Keep the faith. Make a list of the things that you really love about your work.
8. Relationships: Maintain and expand your circle of influence. Connect with enthusiastic, energized colleagues in your field, and outside, to sustain your passion for your profession. Answering these questions will also help:
- With whom do I enthusiastically talk shop at work?
- With whom do I enthusiastically talk shop, or exchange professional ideas, outside of work?
- How many ways can I expand my network of people who have the same professional interests as I?
- With whom do I share my professional victories?
- How big and diverse is my network?
Life is change, and work is change, but passion, for our professions, and for our Lives, is optional…and each one of us gets to choose! So, to quote author C. S. Lewis, Make your choice, adventurous stranger. Strike the bell and bide the danger. Or wonder ’til it drives you mad, what would have followed, if you had.