Have you ever been to one of those motivational talks where the speaker tells you that you need to find your passion and follow your heart, even if it means quitting your day job?
Personally I find these talks a bit irresponsible. For most of us, the reality is we can’t quit our day jobs. Last time I looked most of us have a mortgage to pay, kids to feed and clothe, and in our case two big dogs that eat us out of house and home. If you quit your day job, you will probably feel an initial euphoria and freedom, but then reality will sink in and you may be anxious, uncertain, and unhappy, especially if things don’t go as planned.
The other issue I have with these motivational talks is they imply that happiness and a sense of worth are only tied to work, and if you’re not doing work your passionate about, you can’t be happy. I’d challenge that.
The reality is our relationship with work is not that black and white—it’s a big ol’ corporate world of fifty shades of grey out there. We can like our work, the people we work with, and the work we do, but we may not be passionate about it. And yet, we can still be happy.
One caveat this week: If you are really unhappy at work, to the point where it’s affecting your health or other important aspects of your life, finding a new job may be the way to go. But for the rest of us, finding happiness in what we do and what we can control is a more realistic option.
This week’s #HappyAct is to make one conscious change at your work, or in your regular routine that will help you be happier in what you are doing now. Sign up for training, offer to take a lead on project, or start a new project at home. I’d love to hear your thoughts on work and happiness–leave a comment.