The Essence of Work
Today I am going to talk about “work” and for those of you who are reading at “work" don’t tune me out yet. Give me a few minutes to explain (and continue back to work after you're done reading).
When people associate the word “work” we don't associate it that with pleasure. The word "work" often gets associated with “pain”. It has a dreadful connotation. We all know that Monday sucks and we even have the term "Monday blues" that refers to when someone is mildly depressed because they have an entire work week in front of them. We say we “have” to go to work in order to pay the bills, we work for the paycheck so we can go buy more stuff.
It’s because we forget to look at the true essence of our work.
What is the true value of your work? How is your output affecting people and the world?
When you start to ask a deeper question and see past the definition of “work” at the superficial level and the feelings that you get when you think of work. You get connected to your true value.
How am I bringing more smiles and happiness into the world?
Once you get connected to that instead of seeing mundane tasks at hand, you will see what it could do for yourself, the people around you, and the world that you live in.
You will find that there is more fulfillment within it. If we just work for the money or to pay the mortgage, we're not going to be happy. If we focus on the true essence that we provide we will be happier and more fulfilled.
A teacher who doesn't see his true value see work as dealing with troubled kids that are rude and give him a hard time. But a teacher who realizes his true worth see that he has an opportunity to enrich young human beings with knowledge and inspiration. To lay the foundation for the next generation to grow up and to be successful contributors to society. He also gets to learn from his students, he finds more non-monetary values within his work. Therefore he doesn't have to be waiting for the paycheck to be happy.
An accountant who doesn't see his true value see an endless pile of paperwork, emails, tasks and spreadsheets that have to be managed. But an accountant who realizes his worth see the value of a well-crafted spreadsheet that allows his company to have an accurate picture of their finances. The company then s able to make better decisions to contribute more to the society.
A street sweeper who realizes his contribution see happiness within cleanliness. He sees that he is making the street clean and when the streets are clean people that walk that street doesn't have to worry about the trash. They can feel good about the area and the space that they are in. He is creating a better atmosphere.
Food server makes people happy when she delivers great tasting food. She delivers happiness, on a plate.
When you see your own value in your work you don't need a manager to micromanage you. You are driven. You understand that when you're focused the result of the work is better and there is more value to your customers or clients. As a result, you are able to contribute more to the society and you will feel even more valuable and fulfilling.
When you look at it from this perspective, a smile goes a long way. It is an immediate mood lifter in the room. it is infectious.
So if you made it this far, this must have resonated with you at some level. I invite you to think about your "day-to-day” job a little differently today. Look beyond it and see what values you are providing and honor that. Take pride in that and be grateful that you get to do this and get paid for it. On the other hand, think about what will happen and how many people will be affected? and in what way? if one day you don't show up.
This may surprise you, but the world needs you. The world needs you to show up than ever before.
Every time you get frustrated or bored with the task at hand. Zoom out and look at the 10,000 ft view to get a picture of what you're really doing.