No matter where you go, you are surrounded by colleagues who are itching for the clock to strike 5 p.m. For most, Saturdays are a glimmer of hope in a dark world of full-time work, and Mondays feel like you’re Bill Murray in the classic comedy film Groundhog Day.
Are our jobs really so awful that we prefer to “live” for only two of the seven days of a week? I know the daily grind of paper pushing and dealing with tough bosses is hard, but is that really worth wasting 70 percent of your adult life?
“Do what you love and you will never work a day in your life.” — Author debated
For some, this statement is truly a reality. They took a risk to make their dream career happen, and they’re living in paradise. However, this just doesn’t happen for the majority of the workforce. You’re on LinkedIn reading this right now, which either means you are always seeking further knowledge — believing you’re one of the few who will be at the top of the food chain — or you’re wasting time because your company blocks your access to Facebook. Well, both of you are in luck.
I would say most of us, regardless of how far we are in our professional career, would admit that we still hold out hope for that dream job, whatever it may be. Is this wrong? Nope. Am I advising you to give up on your dreams? Not a chance. I would simply encourage you to alter your perception of what “work” truly means.
How long did the satisfaction last from your previous pay raise? That promotion? The big deal you closed? How about your last vacation or even this past weekend? Chances are the satisfaction is long gone.
This is both a blessing and a curse. It keeps us pushing to the next level — always reaching new heights — yet it also keeps us confined to the mindset that we are not happy where we are, not happy at work.
So how do we reach for the stars without wasting our lives working for the weekend?
First things first.
Know there is honor in working. There is honor in customer service, there is honor in managing assets, there is honor in giving sponge baths to patients, there is honor in teaching children, there is honor in sales, there is honor in mowing lawns. There is honor in what you do (except for those craigslist con artists, and all con artists for that matter.)
Remember how you felt before you got to where you are now.
At one point, you prayed, hoped and wished you would take the next step to get where you are currently. Keeping a journal is a great way to remember how grateful you were when the offer finally came through. Keep sticky notes in your office, in your car or in your briefcase to remind you that you are on the side of the road where the grass is greener than it was before. You are lucky to be working, lucky you were given an opportunity over someone else. I am not discounting the effort you put forth, but noting that somewhere along the line someone rolled the dice on you.
Whether you tithe, give to those in need, tip well over 20 percent or perform a random act of kindness (like taping a dollar bill to the soda machine for someone to enjoy a drink on a stranger), find a way to connect what you do during the week to those in your community. You can make a difference for your neighbor who’s stuck earning minimum wage or for your coworker who’s sleeping on stacks of cash. Don’t believe the lie that you can’t make a difference where you are right now. Remind yourself that your current role is the means by which you can impact those around you. There should be two groups of people in your community: those you call your friends, and those you have yet to have the opportunity to call your friends.
“Do what you love and you will never work a day in your life.”
And for everyone else…
“Find ways to love what you do and you will never work a day in your life.”
Weekends will never bring true rest, and life is far too short to hate what you do.
Jake Gregory is a manager at Global Exchange Events.