Are You Doing What You Love?

by: Kate Harper

Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful. —Albert Schweitzer (1875 – 1965)

We are busier than we have ever been, working long hours and feeling under more and more pressure. How do you spend your days? For many people work and pleasure are seen as separate, with work being a chore that has to be done to pay the bills. It doesn’t always have to be like that. Although we don’t have to love everything we do, we do need to gain some enjoyment from most of what we do. Take a moment to see if it is time to start afresh and do something you love, something that adds the pleasure factor back into your working life?

Think about what matters to you and why you do the things you do. For each person that means something different. What aspects of a job are important to you? List them. Think about your dream job. Does it motivate and inspire you? If not, think again. It has to mean something to you; otherwise you will not be prepared to put in the effort to achieve what you want. Ask: ‘What am I prepared to give up to make this happen?’ ‘What would I love to try?’ ‘What options do I have?’ ‘What are my talents, skills and qualities?’ ‘How can I utilise them in my ideal job?’ How can you take an idea and turn it into reality? Get creative and think through how you could make money doing what you enjoy.

Starting anew requires courage, confidence and commitment. Hold on to your sense of purpose. Believe in yourself. Ignore the critics, for there are bound to be some, and face your fears (there will many of those too!). Ask for help from those people who can assist you and get supporters to keep you motivated. Research things that interest you and, if necessary, go back to basics and learn new skills. Develop a clear vision of where you’d like to be in 10 years’ time – and why. Write it down. Be specific. This will provide you with something to focus on. Think creatively. This may not happen all of a sudden, but if you work at it gradually, day by day, it can happen.

And if starting something new is not for you, how can you love the job you already have? You can’t always control your situation, but you can always choose how you react to it. Your attitude colours how you face every day and has an influence on the people around you. Choose to be positive. Are there areas of your job that you can improve on? Who can you discuss this with? Is a change to a new role in the same company an option? Examine the possibilities. Your job does not define you, but how you do it does.

And why bother? Doing what you love gives you a good reason to get up every morning. Your life will be challenging, certainly, exciting, definitely. Doing things you enjoy which give you personal fulfilment and satisfaction has been shown to contribute to good health and longevity. Don’t wait for perfect circumstances to start. Begin now!

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