You do not hear the words “love” and “work” together very often anymore. The only positive thought most people have at their desks is imagining that they are somewhere else. But I believe there is a better way. Whether you are a software developer or a physical therapist, a great career makes you feel more alive. You feel love.
An eye-opening study at Stanford asked Americans if their lives were meaningful and happy. The study revealed that happiness is mainly about getting what one wants and needs, whether in a job or a relationship.
Life is meant to be rewarding, and if you are going to spend a third of your time at work, you might as well love it.
We all want to be involved in work that is fulfilling, challenging, and enjoyable. We also should get recognition and promotion for our efforts. Most of us really just want to make a fair wage and be appreciated for the work we do.
As the CEO of Aha! (product roadmap software) I am grateful every day— but I know that most people do not feel the same joy. So, do you jump out of bed every morning eager to get to work? Or do you drag? Would you rather be doing almost anything else instead? Do you know what the sign is that you love what you do?
The number one sign you love your job is that you avoid distractions.
Of course, there are different kinds of distractions, and some should be embraced. There are events and moments of joy and sorrow that enrich our lives. Holidays, weddings, and birthday celebrations are deeply important to me. But I tend to avoid guilty pleasures, drama, and other types of “fun” that others are drawn to.
If you love your job, the notion of work-life balance makes you shake your head. Work is certainly more than a 9 to 5 job. You are a bundle of work and life that is brilliantly time-spliced together. You define your job as a role where your best strengths serve a powerful purpose beyond bi-weekly paychecks. If you love your job, you also:
Any parent knows that raising children is not easy. But you’d be hard-pressed to find one who says parenthood is not worth it. Any job worth doing involves self-sacrifice. Those who love their jobs do so without second thought.
That said, they also know how to say, “No.” People who love their jobs often prioritize all aspects of their lives. Time is precious, whether that be with a late night project or a dear friend. Those who love their jobs do not lose sight of their higher mission. It serves as their north star — and inspires them to make time for what else is meaningful while erasing what is not.
One of the problems with happiness is its fleeting nature. Meaning, by contrast, has much more endurance. Those who have meaningful jobs connect their work to both past achievements and future goals.
For those who love their jobs, instant gratification is never a consideration. You are in it for the long haul, and know how to endure tough times.
If you love your job, then you are focused on it and have learned to cut out the distractions. Your work rewards you as you set bold goals and do your best to achieve them. Achievement thrills you. And you are willing to sacrifice other quick-hit, adrenaline-producing thrills to focus on what matters.
How do you know that you love your job?