What Do You Love About What You Do?
Here's a simple fact: you can not do your best work unless you're happy.
I learned this lesson early in life, from the man who taught me to sing well enough to make a (meager) living doing it. I met him when I was a teenager, and for some reason he seemed like someone from what I might get some counseling to deal with what felt like impossible problems at home. I was right – he was helpful. This made me just want to spend more time around him, so I decided to take voice lessons. He turned out to be an awesome voice teacher – I still use the vocal exercises he taught me when I was 14. But when it came to trying the tough songs, he sometimes said something like, "that's good, but come back when you ' re happy. "
You can not sing unless you're happy, he taught me. Even the sad songs require a happy singer.
Maybe what you do for a living has nothing to do with singing … but I would appeal the same principle applies. It was not long ago that I found myself in a discouraging spot in my career, and a college in whom I confided pronounced me to be "sad, and overly anxious." I realized he was probably right … and that meant that, if it had not already, this malady would soon creep into my work. And I could not allow that. I believe there are two kinds of people in the world – the entrepreneur, and the victim. Indeed, both dwell within me and fight for control. So, since I aspire to live as an entrepreneur, I can not allow myself to slip into victim mode. Victims are frequently unhappy. Entrepreneurs can not let themselves be.
It may sound easier than it is, but it is possible to keep yourself happy. What works for me is to re-focus my attention on the wonderful blessings in my life and work. There are tough parts of any job. Your inner entrepreneur loves to focus on the good stuff, but the inner victim keeps wanting to bring up the parts that are not so fun.
An example: when I was a stage performer, I have to say, my inner victim did not have much to work with; but I will admit that I really did not care for the make-up.
In my more recent work, it's very much the same. I get to travel to wonderful places, work with the world's best and brightest people, and they really care what I think! So when I'm dragging my luggage through the airport long-term parking, realizing I'll be out of my own bed for several coming nights, I just have a little talk with myself: "This is the part that's no fun. -four hours from now you'll be so busy with the great part of this job you will have completely forgotten about the 'bad' part. "
And it helps me stay happy.
We all know people who seem to be stuck in victim mode … who seem to make choice after choice that keeps them unlucky, and unhappy. Those people are not likely to be the people who do great things in the world. You do not see them starting a business, launching a product, creating great works, demonstrating inspirational leadership. And if we're honest, we realize we could have gone that route, and may yet. Start by deciding not to give up. Be an optimist. See the good – in others, in yourself, in your situation. If you let yourself focus on it (and you must), you realize you have a lot to be happy about.
by Michael D. Hume, MS