Do you love your work? Article written by Jo Howarth
I’d like you to imagine that you have been on holiday for a few days. Just close your eyes and imagine that you have been on holiday for a few days and today is your first day back at work.
What was your reaction to that thought?
Did you groan a bit?
Wish you didn’t have to go and feel a bit unwilling?
Or were you excited to get back to forging ahead with that side of your life?
Now imagine that your boss rang and offered you a couple more days off. How do you feel now?
Elated that you don’t have to face work for a while longer, or are you looking forward to going back to work after some more You Time?
I want you to take a few moments to ponder your reaction.
Realise how much of your life is spent at work. How many minutes and hours you spend doing you job.
How would you like to feel about it?
Now that came from my deep, dark past because I used to work in Corporate Land. I was a Corporate Event Manager and I organised conferences and exhibitions and the like, and oh my word I spent most of my life living in Stress City.
We very often get stuck in this rut of believing that we have to do our job, that we have to go to work, that we have to have the security, that we have to do this and that we must put up with all manner of rubbish because we need the job.
I wholeheartedly adhere to the other theory, the other side of life, that actually you spend most of you life at work, you spend most of your hours doing your work, whatever your job is and I know all my self-employed contacts will back me up on this one – there just is no point doing something if it makes you miserable. It took me years to realise that.
I suffered from stress, anxiety, I had IBS, I smoked like a chimney, I drank like a fish, I got irritable and grumpy.
Sometimes I still get irritable and grumpy – you know, I’m a human being – but my point is I was constantly like that. I couldn’t see any way out and I was swept along in that rut, the same as a lot of other people are, believing that I couldn’t let go of my job, that I couldn’t do anything wrong because what if I lost my job?!
Actually, slowly, two things dawned on me. One was that the people I was working for actually needed me as much as I needed them, if not more, because without me, the job didn’t get done. So that helped to switch my mind-set around to start with; but also I realised that this was MY life.
This was my LIFE and I was spending the vast majority of my week, not just my working week, my whole week, in a place I didn’t like, doing something I didn’t enjoy that was stressing me out, making me feel anxious.
Honestly, if someone could tell me what on earth the point of that is, I would be heartily open to hearing it, because to date I have not found a point to it.
People use the blanket of security, of earning money, as their reason for doing what they do and I absolutely believe that it should not be the reason why you do what you do.
You should do something that you love. Do something that fulfils you. Do something that fills you with joy, that fills you with satisfaction, that fills you with that sense of freedom, of fulfilment. Whether that is working for yourself or working for somebody else.
Whatever you are doing needs to be something that you look forward to, that when you are on holiday and you come back, and you realise that you have got work the next day it excites you!
I used to get awful Sunday evening, “Bleurgh! It’s Sunday evening! Oh no, that means it’s work tomorrow!” I don’t get that any more, honestly I am like the most excited person in the entire world ever to get up and go to work every morning.
Yesterday was a bank holiday, I spent 99% of it with my family, but I love my work so much I actually did about half an hour’s worth of work because I love what I do. It enthuses me, it fulfils me, it makes me smile, it makes me happy. Why would you not spend your time doing that?
If you are that person, doing that job and it really gets you down, it really doesn’t fill you up then please have a think about what you are doing with your life. This is your life. This is YOUR life. It’s up to YOU to fill it with things that make you smile and if your work isn’t one of those things, then reassess it, really reassess it.
For me it’s a no-brainer, it’s an absolute no-brainer. This is your life. Spend it doing something that fulfils you, that gives you that feeling of satisfaction, that means you don’t have that Sunday evening bleurgh feeling, that means you don’t come home from holiday and think, “Oh god, I’ve got to go back to work.”
Do something that inspires you; that fulfils you; that satisfies you. You make yourself sick in one way or another if you don’t do that. You make yourself unhappy, you make yourself physically sick and/or mentally sick.
Look after yourself. Love your work.
I am Jo Howarth, inspirational speaker, bestselling author and founder of The Happiness Club.
The Happiness Club is an online membership club that teaches people how to create their own happiness on a daily basis.
I am based in the UK and work with people of all ages, shapes and sizes.
I believe that happiness is the most important thing in life and is a choice we are all capable of making every single day.
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