In my line of work, I often meet people who feel like their job needs to be… well, work.
It’s supposed to be hard, a challenge, a trial, wearying.
It has to be a difficult challenge, a burden, a slog.
So, when I say to them, “Let’s find a way to base your career on joy”, they look at me as if I just got off the last train from OutThereville.
For these dear, harried souls, “joy” and “work” are never used in the same sentence. Never. Ever.
Of course, until they meet me.
Because I know that when you base your career in something that’s joyful, work doesn’t feel like work - it feels like a pleasure. Like an adventure. Like the most exhilarating learning you’ve ever experienced.
When you can find the joy in what you do, then stuff like toxic people, or unexpected roadblocks, or other setbacks become simply Things That Happen. When you’re operating from a true, deep love of what you’re doing, Things That Happen…happen. And so you deal with them and get back to doing what you love.
Sure, maybe wiser and more experienced, but still deeply joyful.
You want a real world example, don’t you?
So, recently, I had a colonoscopy. Immediately, you’re thinking “joy!”, aren’t you?
When I met with the doctor before the procedure, he told me that he had learned how to do colonoscopies when he was in the Army in Vietnam. I said, “Wow, you must have seen the technology change so much between then and now.”
He looked at me curiously, then said, “I sure have!” and went on to tell me, with a lot of enthusiasm, what’s changed. In that moment, I saw that my doctor loves his work. Loves it. Finds it fascinating. Appreciates the work he does. Feels joy.
And he does colonoscopies for a living.
Someone asked me yesterday how they could have a “bigger” career. How could they push past the barriers and boundaries they encounter and live large?
I replied with: “Start with joy.” Because with joy as your foundation, things come so easily. People find you a pleasure to be around and want to do business with you. Opportunities come. Doors open.
Life gets rich and full.
So, maybe it’s time for you to take a close look at your life. Where are you on joy? How can you get more if you don’t have enough?
How can you shift from the limiting idea that a life worth living is by definition a hard-fought battle, and move toward the bounteous idea that the best life is one founded on pure, unadulterated joy?
Because if you can, everything will break wide open for you.