Get A Life!
"You Can't Love Your Life
If You Hate Your Work"
A Motivational Article by Thomas W. McKee The average person spends over 100,000 working hours in a lifetime (40 hours a week, 50 hours a week for 50 years). A recent Wall Street Journal/ABC News poll reported that ½ of Americans would choose a new line of work if they had the chance.
The obvious questions are: "Why would people spend 100,000 hours doing something they dont find satisfying," and "What is holding them back from a change?"
To enjoy our lives, we need to get a life by making one of two choices
The first option is to "Be There"
Have you seen the bumper sticker, "The World is Run by Those Who Show Up." I often start our workshops by asking the questions, "Where are you today?" "Are you here?" Recently one man said, "My teenage daughter is having her first date todayIm not totally here." Another said, "My house is supposed to close escrow today, "Im not totally here." After listening to the places people are in their mind, I ask them to make a commitment to "be here." And try to be totally focused in the days activities, stressing it is a great lesson for life. To enjoy the day, the job, the assignment, the project, we need to "be there." We focus so much on multitasking, we have the tendency to be everywhere but where we ought to be. Its a choice. We can make a decision every moment we are with customer, co-worker, project, or boss. We either need to be there, or get out.
Tom Hanks, a former student at California State University Sacramento, is a local celebrity and inspiration for many Sacramento Theater Arts students. Recently I was facilitating a faculty retreat with the Theater Arts Department at the University where Tom Hanks use to study and perform. Faculty members were talking about students who have become so involved in "acting" that they refuse to degrade themselves with lowlier positions like painting sets and working the lights. "We are actors," they respond when instructors attempt to recruit volunteers to help with set design and construction. One professor loves to tell how Tom Hanks painted sets, ran the lights and worked in costumes when he was a student. He was willing to do anything. He was totally "there" no matter what the task. No wonder he is successful.
The second option is to "Look for Trouble"
The fiery Zorba the Greek says, "Life is trouble. Only death is not. To be alive means to buckle our belt and look for trouble." But that means change and change--even change meant to improve our lives--creates stress. That why we avoid new experiences and tough choices. If we decided we do not want to "be there" in our present vocation, then we need to "get out". The ultimate tragedy, as Oliver Wendell Homes has said, is that many people go to their graves with the music still in them. We have a song, dream, and vision in our hearts, but we have never acted on it. We choose to live in a dream world and never take the step to change. Some of the saddest phrases in the English language are "if only," or "it might have been." Many people use these phrases because they cant take the first step. They are paralyzed by fear.
Today we have so many career options. Most people spend far more time planning the purchase of a new car or planning their vacations than they do thinking about what they really want to do with their lives.
We have two choices: We can choose to "be there" and become passionate about our job, or we can choose to "get out". As John Henry Newman says, "Fear not that your life shall come to an end, but that it shall never have a beginning. You have the choice.
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