It’s saddening to hear about people unhappy with their jobs. We spend about one third of our lives at work. To spend that amount of time at something we dislike would be comparable to imprisonment! Don’t worry though, I’m not going to tell you to “follow your passion.” That advice often does more harm than good (see TED Talks in references below). Instead, I’m going to offer you three ways to change the way you think about the work you are already doing. Here’s how to be passionate about your profession
How to Be Passionate About Your Profession #1: Focus on serving others
What brings the greatest fulfilment in life? I would argue that nothing beats service to others. Many people I have spoken to would limit this idea to charity work, but why should it be? Is the work you are doing right now not serving someone else?
Here’s the key principle: people pay for what they value. Does the fact that you earn money for your service diminish the good that you are accomplishing? The answer is a resounding “NO!” The very fact that you are earning money is evidence that the service you are providing them is valuable!
Focus on the value you deliver to your employer/clients. Every time you are paid, take pride in the fact that you are earning that money because they appreciate your service and find it valuable.
How to Be Passionate About Your Profession #2: See the bigger picture
Work can be drudgery if it doesn’t fit into a greater purpose1. Here’s a story that might help you to see the bigger picture:
“A guy looked at my Corvette the other day and said ‘I wonder how many people could have been fed for the money that car cost.’ I replied ‘I am not sure, it fed a lot of families in Bowling Green, Kentucky who built it, it fed the people who make the tires, it fed the people who made the components that went into it… and fed the people working at the dealership and their families. BUT I have to admit, I guess I really don’t know how many people it fed.’”
Here’s a greater purpose for any work you do: Every sale that you or your company makes feeds families and contributes to everyone’s quality of life!
How to Be Passionate About Your Profession #3: Strive for excellence
Very few of us end up in careers that we dream about in our youth. When asked what I wanted to do growing up, I would have never thought of sales. I stumbled into the profession, knowing that the skills were critical for running a business. I learned everything I could and became excellent at it, and became passionate about it. The takeaway principle is that the better you become at something, the more interesting it becomes!
If your job is lacklustre, turn your focus on how you are serving others and the greater community. Become excellent at what you do, and you will become passionate about your profession!
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TED Talk: Stop searching for your passion
1 Drive; Daniel Pink 2009