Zig Ziglar, once said, “You can complain because roses have thorns, or you can rejoice because thorns have roses.” Every day of your career, life includes a decision between thorns and roses. The office is often the setting for such decision making.
Do you love what you do? If not, why not? And what are you doing about it? Of course, some things are out of your control. In that case, your work ethic kicks in to cover the inequities. But in most cases, you can influence others—and yourself—with positive attitudes toward your work. I think there are four guiding principles in order to love your work.
1. SEE IT FOR WHAT IT DOES, RATHER THAN FOR WHAT IT IS.
What product or services does your work provide that makes life better for others? If you focus inwardly, you will struggle with “insider” stuff. If you look through the corporate windows into the lives of people who depend on what your work does, it will give it a greater meaning.
2. SEE IT FOR WHO YOU CAN HELP, RATHER THAN FOR WHO MAY HINDER YOU.
Focus on contributing to your associates. What words of encouragement can you give them? How can you facilitate their work without getting in their way? Your positive attitude will give your associates much more than they will earn in a paycheck. If they go home feeling respected and appreciated, you have made their day—and yours.
3. SEE IT FOR WHAT IT DOES FOR YOU, RATHER THAN FOR WHAT IT TAKES FROM YOU.
What skills or benefits will last beyond your career? Pay attention to what you are learning every day. Identify those skills that will last a lifetime. What other benefits beyond monetary gain, such as friendships, networks, or techniques, will continue to enhance your life?
4. SEE IT FOR HOW IT BEGAN, RATHER THAN FOR HOW IT CONTINUES.
What founding principles drive your workplace? Think about the core purpose of your company’s products or services. If you see yourself as a carrier of those principles, or a daily contributor to those interests, it will give greater meaning to your work.
What you do isn’t necessarily who you are, but who you are will necessarily pinfluence what you do. Look beyond the time clock. Think above the noise. Dream beyond the blueprints. When you turn the drudgery of what you do into the dynamic of what it does for you and for others, you’ve taken a giant step in loving your work.