work - work 3

Occupation was one of the
pleasures of paradise, and we
cannot be happy without it.

Anna Brownell Jameson


I believe that earning your living doing something you enjoy is one of the very best ways to nourish yourself.  But even if you are employed at something that is not your ideal work, it is important to find ways to take as much pleasure in it as possible.  Living in the present moment can make ordinary activities more interesting and joyful; you may be surprised, if you only look, at what you will find.  If you try to stay connected with why you are doing what you are doing, for example, then even the parts of your life that aren't especially interesting can become more meaningful.

Nathaniel Branden

Life is to be lived.  If you have to support yourself, you had bloody well better find some way that is going to be interesting.  And you don't do that by sitting around wondering about yourself.

Katharine Hepburn

There is perhaps only one human being in a thousand who is passionately interested in his or her job for the job's sake.  The difference is that if that one person in a thousand is a man, we say, simply, that he is passionately keen on his job; if she is a woman, we say she is a freak.

Dorothy L. Sayers


One of the symptoms of approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one's work is terribly important, and that to take a holiday would bring all kinds of disaster.  If I were a medical man, I should prescribe a holiday to any patient who considered his or her work important.

Bertrand Russell


They who labor diligently need never despair,
for all things are accomplished by diligence and labor.



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Work nourishes the soul.  All the creatures of the universe are
busy doing work, and we honor life when we work.  The type of
work is not important: the fact of the work is.  All work feeds
the soul if it is honest and done to the best of our abilities
and if it brings joy to others.

Matthew Fox


When you spend your life doing what you love to do, you are nourishing
your Soul.  It matters not what you do, only that you love whatever you
happen to do.  Some of the happiest people I've known have been nannies,
gardeners, and housekeepers.  They put their hearts into their work, and
they used the work itself as a vehicle to nourish their Souls.  I've known
other people with more prestigious professions who absolutely hated their
jobs.  What good is it to be a doctor or a professional if you do not
genuinely love what you do?  Working in a job you do not love
does nothing to nourish your Soul.

Elisabeth Kuebler-Ross


No race can prosper till it learns that there is
as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem.

Booker T. Washington


As one woman told me, "When I decided to come in to work happy, everybody
around me became happy."  This woman had decided to quit a job she hated,
and on the last day of her two weeks' notice, she woke up happy.  At the end
of the day, she noticed that everybody around her was happy, too--
so she didn't quit after all.  She decided to come to work happy instead.
Two years later, she's still on the job, radiating happiness and love.

Bernie Siegel

Prescriptions for Living


If one is called to be a street sweeper, one should sweep the streets
even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music
or Shakespeare wrote poetry.  One should sweep the streets so well
that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say,
here lived a great street sweeper who did his or her job well.

Martin Luther King, Jr.


The highest reward for people's toil is not what
they get for it, but what they become by it.

John Ruskin


I'm very blessed to be able to do work that I love.  I teach college writing, and I have a great time doing so, for I'm able to see the progress that people are making in my classes as the semester goes on.  It's very rewarding, and it's extremely enjoyable.  I'm not making a great living at it, but we make ends meet, and I end up getting a lot of time to do other things I love, such as going for walks, running, swimming, reading, working on a website--activities that help me to grow and to appreciate life even more.

But I haven't always had this kind of job.  McDonald's, Taco Bell, the Army, Avis Rent-a-Car--I've had jobs that in themselves didn't give me any satisfaction at all. Doing the same thing day in and day out isn't exactly conducive to growth, especially when you never actually see end results: as soon as you put up twelve hamburgers, they need twelve more.  In this type of job, it's always been important to me to do two things to get the most out of it:  focus on people, and doing my best to excel.  If I focused on my co-workers and customers, I found that I was able to appreciate the work more.  I know how much I appreciate a hamburger when I'm hungry, so I knew that I was filling a need when I worked at McDonald's.  And my co-workers were also rushed and tired, so if I could make things easier for them, the job I did became more significant.

I didn't care about being the best at what I did; I just cared about doing the best I could.  I found that when I was working on improving my skills (cutting three seconds off the time I needed to make six Big Macs), the job became different--I had to look at it analytically, I had to see things in a different way and focus on the process, not just the end result. Doing so made the job even enjoyable at times.

Bernie Siegel writes about a woman who hated her job so much that she was going to quit.  On her last day, she woke up very happy, and she took that happiness into work with her.  Because she was so happy (for a change), the people she worked with treated her differently, and she found that she actually enjoyed work that day.  She ended up not quitting, and she enjoyed her job--the same one--for many years after.  Her attitude towards her job determined the way she felt at work.

As Kuebler-Ross states above, many people are very happy in jobs that others look down upon--I've known happy secretaries, salespeople, maids, and army sergeants, and they didn't care one bit what others felt about the work they were doing--they loved their work, and they did it to the best of their abilities.  A prestigious or well paying job doesn't lead to happiness.  I know an executive whose salary is in the mid-six figures, yet this person is constantly stressed out, has no free time, and just spent a great deal of time in the hospital for stress-related surgery.  The new 'vette sits in the garage, rarely driven because he doesn't want to scratch it.  The humidifier keeps the paint job on the car looking nice.  We recently visited him and his wife for two days, and I can't recall seeing him smile. They don't even use some of the rooms in their huge house.  A very nice person, but I didn't feel any happiness or joy of life when we were there.

Find work you love (but don't hurry and rush into it).  Do the best you can at it.  Let yourself enjoy every day at work, every task that you have to accomplish, and you'll find that getting up in the morning becomes a pleasure, and coming home from work isn't such a great relief--it's going from one place you like to another.

tom walsh

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What we accomplish in a day depends upon the way in which we approach our tasks.
When we accept tough jobs as a challenge to our ability and wade into them
with joy and enthusiasm, miracles can happen.
When we do our work with a dynamic, conquering spirit, we get things done.

Arland Gilbert

work - work 3

Opportunity is missed by most people because it
is dressed in overalls, and looks like work.

Thomas A. Edison

Manual labor to my father was not only good and decent for its own sake,
but as he was given to saying, it straightened out one's thoughts.

Mary Ellen Chase


I get satisfaction of three kinds.  One is creating something,
one is being paid for it and one is the feeling that
I haven't just been sitting on my ass all afternoon.

William F. Buckley



Make sure that the career you choose is one you
enjoy.  If you don't enjoy what you are doing,
it will be difficult to give the extra time,
effort and devotion it takes to be a success.

Kathy Whitworth

If you don't want to work, you have to work to earn
enough money so that you won't have to work.

Ogden Nash

When your work speaks for itself, don't interrupt.

Henry J. Kaiser


A great business success was probably never attained by chasing the dollar,
but is due to pride in one's work, the pride that makes business an art.

Henry L. Doherty


Work is creativity accompanied by the comforting realization
that one is bringing forth something really good and necessary,
with a conviction that a sudden, arbitrary cessation
would cause a sensitive void, produce a loss.

Jenny Heynrichs


The kind of work we do does not make us holy but we may make
it holy.   However “sacred” a calling may be, as it is a calling, it has
no power to sanctify; but rather as we are and have the divine
being within, we bless each task we do, be it eating, or sleeping,
or watching, or any other.  Whatever they do, who have
not much of God’s nature, they work in vain.

Meister Eckhart



The secret of joy in work is contained in one word--excellence.
To know how to do something well is to enjoy it.

Pearl S. Buck


We work to become, not to acquire.

Elbert Hubbard


I think I find most help in trying to look on all interruptions and hindrances
to work that one has planned out for oneself as discipline, trials sent by God
to help one against getting selfish over one’s work.  Then one can feel that
perhaps one’s true work—one’s work for God—consists in doing some
trifling haphazard thing that has been thrown into one’s day.  It is not a waste
of time, as one is tempted to think; it is the most important part of the work
of the day—the part one can best offer to God.  After such a hindrance,
do not rush after the planned work; trust that the time to finish it will be
given sometime, and keep a quiet heart about it.

Annie Keary


To bring one’s self to a frame of mind and to the proper energy
to accomplish things that require plain hard work continuously
is the one big battle that everyone has.  When this battle is won
for all time, then everything is easy.

Thomas A. Buckner


Temptations which accompany the working day will be conquered
on the basis of the morning breakthrough to God.  Decisions,
demanded by work, become easier and simpler where they are
made not in the fear of people, but only in the sight of God.
He wants to give us today the power which we need for our work.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

I will try not to panic, to keep my standard of living modest and
to work steadily, even shyly, in the spirit of those medieval carvers
who so fondly sculpted the undersides of choir seats.

John Updike


God sells us all things at the price of labor.

Leonardo da Vinci


By thinking the right thoughts, you can make any job less distasteful.  Your boss
wants you to be interested in your job so that he or she will make more money.
But let's forget about what the boss wants.  Think only of what getting interested in
your job will do for you.  Remind yourself that it may double the amount of happiness
you get out of life, for you spend about one half of your waking hours at your work,
and if you don't find happiness in your work, you may never find it anywhere.  Keep
reminding yourself that getting interested in your job will take your mind off your worries,
and, in the long run, will probably bring promotion and increased pay.  Even if it doesn't
do that, it will reduce fatigue to a minimum and help you enjoy your hours of leisure.

Dale Carnegie

Few persons realize how much of their happiness is dependent upon
their work, upon the fact that they are busy and not left to feed upon
themselves.  Blessed is the person who has some congenial work,
some occupation in which to place one's heart, and which affords
a complete outlet to all the forces that are in him or her.

John Burroughs

The reward for work well done is the opportunity to do more.

Jonas Salk


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There's no labor we can do that's undignified, if we do it right.

Bill Cosby


It does not matter what your work is on the earth.  What does
matter is that you do your work with all your heart
and with all your strength and all your mind.

White Eagle


Whenever it is possible, people should choose some occupation
which they should do even if they did not need the money.

William Lyon Phelps

work - work 3

It is the experience of those who have tried it, that working from a
sense of duty, working for the work's sake, working as a service,
instead of for a living, or to make money, or in order to hoard
up wealth, brings blessings into the life.

Henry T. Hamblin

I would be content with any job, however thankless, in any quarter,
however remote, if I had the chance of making a corner of the
desert blossom and a solitary place glad.

John Buchan


One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown
is the belief that one's work is terribly important.

Bertrand Russell

Whatever your occupation while in your physical body, remember it is a
form of service.  However humble or even humdrum your work may be
to you, it is your special appointment, and through your work on earth
you can make your contribution to the happiness of all.

White Eagle

Do not undertake more than you can accomplish.  The unhappiness of
life lies in the fret of it; not in its work, but in its worry. Good, strong
well-ordered work never killed a man; but the worry of it, the loading
up of an hour with two hours' work, the loading up of an evening with
too many engagements, being avaricious of pleasure and greedy of
delight, will make us unhappy. Joy ceases to be joy when
it is not conveniently handled and easily carried.

Thomas R. Slicer



Alone in his car heading west, it's easy for Jason
to feel sorry for himself and mad at the world.  But
then he gives a ride to Hector and learns that life
isn't nearly as negative as we sometimes see it,
and that the prejudice and discrimination that
he's experiencing aren't unique to him--and aren't
impossible to overcome.  The friendship between
this young man and his 70-year-old passenger is
an inspiring story of love and dealing with
obstacles in our lives.    
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