At the risk of sounding negative, I witness very often
why people don't much like the jobs they have. They
don't like their jobs because they don't give their all to
them, and because they don't do that, they never reach the
level of excellence that brings great amounts of
satisfaction and fulfillment and, yes, joy. They
simply get by in their jobs, often doing the bare minimum
and complaining about how unfulfilling the work is.
I've had jobs that I've disliked, and I know that there
have been jobs that I've disliked because I never really
gave the work a chance. I've had other jobs that
really should have been worse, but they've consisted of
work that interested me, which meant that I focused
strongly on the work and gave it my all. When I've
done that, I've enjoyed the work much, much more and the
work that I've done has been of a very high quality.
I constantly witness in school that kids who don't put
forth effort tend to be the most bored--and it doesn't
work the other way around. The common excuse--that
they don't give effort because they're bored--is usually
not completely true. The fact is that most of the
kids who don't do their work are causing the lack of
excellence themselves, and are finding the subjects boring
because of their lack of effort. The
cause-and-effect relationship of the two states is
completely turned around from reality.
A man named Jack Daniels is an accomplished expert in
running, especially in running for speed. He says
that something that surprises him is that in a race, when
runners start to feel tired, almost none of them actually
think about speeding up as a way to work their way through
the fatigue. In his experience, speeding up offers
the legs a new pace and a new stride that can help a
runner do his or her best in a given race. When we
get tired of our work, we rarely think of pushing harder
in order to make the work more interesting.
When I do something very, very well, I get a lot of
satisfaction from it. I get a feeling of
fulfillment, and yes, even joy. I enjoy going to
work, and I enjoy doing the work. And all of the
enjoyment is due not to what the work is, but to what I
give to it. It's a dynamic that's important to
remember, and one that sets you apart from others--someone
who enjoys the job and does it very well is a very
valuable person, in very many ways.
How might we start to give all we can to our work, even if
we sometimes find it tedious or annoying?
Why is it so easy to start focusing on other things at
work if we're somehow bored with the work we're doing,
instead of putting ourselves into the work more?
What are some of the benefits of giving our all to our
work and starting to enjoy the work and the results?
For further thought:
There are four stenographers in my office
and each of us is assigned to take letters from several
men. Once in a while we get jammed up in these
assignments. One day, when an assistant department
head insisted that I do a long letter over, I started to
rebel. I tried to point out to him that the letter
could be corrected without being retyped--and he retorted
that if I didn't do it over, he would find someone else
who would! I was absolutely fuming! But as I
started to retype this letter, it suddenly occurred to me
that there were a lot of other people who would jump at
the chance to do the work I was doing. Also, that I
was being paid a salary to do just that work. I
began to feel better. I suddenly made up my mind to
do my work as if I actually enjoyed it--even though I
despised it. Then I made this important
discovery: If I do my work as if I really
enjoy it, then I do enjoy it to some extent. I also
found I can work faster when I enjoy my work. So
there is seldom any need now for me to work
overtime. This new attitude of mine gained me the
reputation of being a good worker. And when one of
the department superintendents needed a private secretary,
he asked for me for the job--because, he said, I was
willing to do the extra work without being sulky!
This matter of the power of a changed mental attitude has
been a tremendously important discovery to me. It
has worked wonders!
Vallie G. Golden