If you were to eavesdrop on the conversations in any given lunch spot on any given Tuesday, you’d hear a lot of stressed and unhappy people.
“It’s a job. It pays the bills.”
“I only have 5 years till retirement. I can stick it out.”
“I never thought I’d be here this long…but whatever.”
“I have too much on my plate. It’s like they expect me to do three jobs.”
“I hate my boss but he’s not going anywhere and neither am I.”
“I’d never find another job that pays this well.”
“Is it Friday yet?”
These lines are so familiar that they practically disappear into the humdrum of our daily discourse. We’ve learned to ignore them. We just nod in assent and move on to chatter about last night’s game or tomorrow’s weather as we down our turkey sandwich and Diet Coke.
But if we were really paying attention, we’d stand up and scream. We’d shake the shoulders of the person across the table and implore her to listen to her herself, to comprehend the significance of what she’s really saying, which is this:
“I give up.”
We’re in a crisis of complacence when it comes to our careers.
We’ve bought into the idea that work is a drag. That it’s supposed to suck. That there’s nothing better out there.
I wholeheartedly disagree. In fact, it’s this very belief that is keeping us from doing what we’re really here to do. We all have gifts we can use in service to others. And finding opportunities to use those gifts is what truly lights us up.
Deep within us lies the work we were born to do.
But too many of us are settling. We’ve resigned ourselves to being stressed and unhappy, toiling in jobs that just aren’t quite right.
Be honest with yourself. Are you doing work you love? Not just like, but love? Are you working on something you’re proud of? Something that matters? Something that uses your gifts and ignites your passion?
Are you just collecting a paycheck or are you making a contribution?
Simon Sinek got it right when he said, “Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress; working hard for something we love is called passion.”
This isn’t to say that working on something we love is never difficult. It’s just that it feels worth it. We willingly invest our time and energy in projects and causes that capture our imagination and leverage our talents.
Doing so leaves us exhilarated. Energized. Fired up.
When we’re not in a place where we can use our gifts in service to something we believe in, we feel stressed. Anxious. Exhausted. We’re frustrated. Cranky. Short-tempered. Maybe even chronically ill.
When you’re not in the right place, the signs are always there.
The question is:
Are you paying attention?
Note: In my private coaching practice, I work with high-impact women who are ready to align their work with their purpose. If you’re ready to make a change, we should talk.