I toiled for decades at low-wage menial jobs I hated, because I didn't see a better alternative. (Quit and starve didn't sound like a better alternative.) I lack marketable job skills and can't afford to go to school to get skills. Ultimately I lost my minimum wage job and I don't miss it but I'm not prospering either.
The Joy of Work
by Randy Gage
Do you love what you’re doing, feel you’re contributing, and getting rewarded well? Are you in a job you absolutely love?
It’s important to know, because the work you do has a lot to do with your happiness and thus, your prosperity. Your work is very important to who you are, and who you are becoming.
Philosopher Kahil Gibran once said that if you don’t love your work, you should quit it, and go to the temple and beg alms from those that do. Might be good advice for someone late in life.
But what about those that are starting their journey, and may not have discovered their assignment yet? Is there something wrong with working your way through college as a waitress? And don’t most people have to do some job they don’t like, while they save money to open a business, or get experience for a better job? At what age should you have discovered your assignment, and be in work that you truly love?
Please share your thoughts below and next post I’ll give you my take.
I don't think that there is a particular age by which we should find our assignment. Although sooner would be better than later, I think it's more important to be seeking and open to receiving clues along the journey of life. I also think it's important to enjoy what I'm doing now as much as I possibly can for both the joy of it and also because it speeds up the manifestation process.
This question appears constantly, that of doing what you love. Well, since most of us will never get to do what we want, I think the better question is, "How can you love—or at least enjoy—what you're doing. That life attitude will carry you to the next stepping stone.
I think we all have unique talents and gifts inside we need to find. I have had it all and lost it all a few times so I think I am qualified to give a little wisdom. Started with nothing. Worked to get it all, or I guess what most would consider ALL. Private planes, mansion on the hill, money to buy anything I wanted. When I lost it was when I learned what I was made of. The greatest gift of all was the experience and what it made me into. We can always get to the money. All of us if we want it bad enough. What we get from the failures is the greatest gift of all. Who we become. I would not want to live my pain over again but there is no greater gift to find your true passion. I'm not sure we can find it any other way. True passion is an evolution. Not something you wake up one day and find. If you are failing, know you are finding it. Don't ever give up. Life is all about the ride. Enjoy it. God Bless.
Most people give their best hours of the day to work.
If one isn't passionate about one is doing, then one is giving the best hours of their life away.
I have long chosen to have my vocation be that which I truly enjoy. Now that doesn't mean that my vocational pursuits are without bumps (my clients have high expectations and occasionally I miss meeting these high expectations). But, I can deal with the bumps because I am doing exactly what I want to be doing vocationally.
I realize that many are not so fortunate. For those that are not yet so fortunate, my hope is that YOU will get assistance from someone who can help you shift from "working" to having a vocation that brings you all the rewards that come from doing that for which you are passionate.
If you have been "stuck" in the wrong job for a protracted period of time, unlikely that you will set yourself free without help from a coach, mentor, author, or other knowledgable, trusted resource.
If you have been “stuck” in the wrong job for a protracted period of time, unlikely that you will set yourself free without help from a coach, mentor, author, or other knowledgable, trusted resource.
In no way, shape or form would I ever want to devalue the incredible benefit of having a personal coach or mentor to lend assistance and champion someone to step up their personal growth – but with the utmost respect – I would hate for someone to become disheartened by thinking without that type of assistance, they will likely never make it out of the working trenches.
Coaches definitely move you farther, faster and more cleanly to your goals, and if you do have access to those resources, by all means, invest in yourself in that way! But still I believe a person’s greatest asset is his/her desire and steadfast commitment to pursue their own dreams – it is the mustard seed that creates miracles and moves mountains.
I've never worked at a job I didn't like and if I stopped liking a job I found another job and quit. Sometimes I quit even before I found another job if I was that unhappy!
We spend too many hours a day working to be miserable and hate what you do for a living. Even if you haven't found your assignment yet, that's no excuse to do something you absolutely can't stand just to "make ends meet." That's a stupid expression anyway. Ends don't meet, that's why they are called ends!
Does it mean that every single job I've had I've liked every single thing about it? No. However, the good far outweighed the bad and the day that the ratio changed is the day I dusted the resume off or began the search for a new entrepreneurial venture to earn a living.
It may sound corny but it is the truth. If you love what you do and do what you love, you will never work a day in your life.
For me its about getting experience for a better job.
I am 38 and have made the first move in my life. At the age of 32, I migrated and went back to school and started a new job in a new industry in a new country - USA after running a family-owned industry for 7 years (from age 25-32) in my origin country.
I am working on the second move while I have this 'go-to' job that pays the bills, keeps me active, and teaches me about corporate America. I know I will be very successful, its just a matter of time.
Its all about the mindset, which I've come to agreement with and realize, thanks to this blog amongst many other resources.
I love what I do but I don't love the lifestyle it will get me if I do it long term. I am doing something about that.
I've had pretty good jobs and not so good jobs. I have worked as a Dental Assistant and absolutely loved it! To the point that I had to quit that job I loved because I really want to be a dentist and my school schedule got in the way so I had to quit that cool job for working at a restaurant as a waitress which I did not like.. I did that for a while I went to school and decided that since dental school is going to be a long journey.. I want to make better money now and my mom owns a day spa. What better idea than to get my Esthetics License (took 5 months!) and get out of the restaurant business and work in the skin care industry while I'm still trying to get to dental school!
Greatest idea ever, since I am able to make good money, and not have to work long hours and also be able to schedule my clients around my school schedule. This job I also love but I did have to take different paths...to find out that what I really like is the skin care business.. I am still working on getting my degree and maybe I could come up with my own skin care line... or become a dermatologist.. who knows. All I know is that I am in the path that I am because I hated working at that restaurant and it made me think of other options that were always available in front on me but I was too blind to see it.
I've had many crappy jobs and I don't think there's anything wrong with doing a job you dislike as a stepping stone to the dream you want to live. However, the fact that you are doing something that you dislike, no matter what the rationalization is, just shows that you lack prosperity consciousness.
I'm living my dream right now, working from my computer and doing something that I feel adds value to the lives of others, as well as mine, and I am here because I developed a mindset, a consciousness that corresponds with it. While I was working in a biological waste disposal facility(LOL, right?) for $2/hour - I was not thinking my way to prosperity, so the job I had resonated with that.
I could have, in the same way, had a job that was more aligned with the things I wanted from life, had I been more open to the abundance of life.
You gave me something to think about, Randy!
I think it's a constant journey. At 20, I thought I knew ecactly what I wanted to do, and what my life should be about. Being married young and staring a family at a young age led me on a different path, and now at 50 lost that original desire long ago. Not that I gave up, but my interests just changed.
I also met someone a while back that had an interesting perspective. His outlook was that people should do something they can make a lot of money in (and the possibility of getting wealthy), while also doing something else they really love. The 2 do not necessarily have to be connected. In his case he was a real estate agent (money making venture), and a male nurse (true passion).
I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on that perspective Randy.
Perhaps it is an American thing, but while I recognize what you do is not the same thing as who you are...what you do and how you do it is a primary expression of self. So yes, I choose to do things I love professionally. Not everything I do falls into that category, and I get stressed at timed. But nearly every job I can think of is worthy...and can be fulfilled with joy and yes...love. I have respected the work many waitresses, baristas and even car wash attendants. For some that is as much as their ambition and drive will carry them. They will have limited professional monetary rewards. That's fine. It's also fine and quite often necessary to learn from doing more simple, or less skilled jobs before transitioning to more lucrative and higher skilled jobs. For those...I think you should love it. Isn't work a key part of life? Once we are beyond survival and have the practical needs covered for ourselves and our families...the rest is choice. I CHOOSE to invest my life in fulfilling and meaningful work. I challenge others to make that choice also.
I love to write about food and wine... have written about pro sports and music before.. one thing about it, I find chefs and wine guys have the most enthusiasm for what they do... which makes it that much more fun to write about... it's unfortunate but a lot of celebs, athletes, entertainers have no idea how lucky they are to get paid phenomenally for what they do...
Am I doing a job that I absolutely love? No. (which is the driving motivation behind the other service I am building). But I am doing a job that I like, and I will say that I am, at least, no longer working for a company whose principles and business practices are incongruent with who I am at my core – and I think that is a mandatory step in the right direction if one wants to become truly prosperous.
Interestingly enough, when I left that last job thinking I was jumping ship to another more attractive position elsewhere, I soon learned that the second ship had sailed without me and I found myself suddenly unemployed. At a point like that – and I think there are so many people in a similar situation right now - necessity becomes the mother of invention. And I think the biggest gift you get is the definitive realization that your true value does not come from a job title you hold, but from who you are inside and what you choose to put forth in the world. And like every experience in life, one can look at losing a job as hard luck or take advantage of the freedom it offers and turn it into a huge opportunity.
In my case, in the short term, I chose to look into my bag of skillsets and pick something I felt confident I had talent for, that allowed me to be my own boss and created an income flow. And while it is a time-for-money, temporary occupation, it provides me a minimal amount of background financial support while I work on putting together and launching something I AM truly passionate about. I don’t think anyone needs to apologize for working anywhere, anytime when the service they are providing is productive and helps them take care of their responsibilities . It’s called being resourceful - period.
Do what you must so that you can ultimately do what you love.
I think I’ve known for a very long time what makes me tick and what type of industry I thrive in – I dabbled in it years ago and had never been so happy. It’s just taken some time after raising a family to align my life to again be able to step back into the work that I love. No rules, you know it when you know it and it’s never too late to follow your bliss.
I am fortunate to be doing what I love and I am very good at it. That said, I think it is much more important "how" you do what you do, versus "what" you actually do. Who are you being when you show up in life and at work? Are you showing up as the power and presence of God? Or, are you showing up as fear, anger and lack? Sometimes "what" we have to do is beyond our control. Who we're being is our choice. If you choose correctly, my experience has been that all sorts of doors open wide.
I absolutely love my work. It has been my calling since the day I decided I am choosing this journey. Or maybe I should say I felt it was it my calling and then I decided to go for it.
Interestingly enough, my prior career was also my dream job and I loved every part of it, as much as getting to the end of the day and realizing it went so fast and I fell accomplished.
This is only to make the following point: It isn't my work that brings happiness to me, it is who I am, that brings happiness to whatever I do... and then some more.
When you are alive, the goal is to do what you want to do for a living. If your work doesn't make you joyous it's not the right line of work for you. Whether you're 18 or 95, doesn't matter.
As for the whole working to pay the bills bit, that's up to the individual. More appropriately, how uncomfortable they are willing to be. This is why some people go homeless and barely have enough to eat while pursuing their dreams. They could have taken any job to pay the bills but invested 99.9% of their energy in following their passion. Others would rather not go through this and I certainly wouldn't judge or blame them.
I went through some wacky stuff from devoting virtually 100% of my time to my dream job. I smile about it now but it was not a picnic to live like that for an extended amount of time. This can happen when you follow your joy and burn bridges. In the same respect it formed a fire in me that living with a financial cushion could have never created, so I am beyond thankful for those days. Without them I wouldn't be where I'm at now.
I'm 61 and just now discovering my assignment. There's tremendous value in the journey, a chance to learn, grow and thrive no matter what the job or situation.
I'm 61 and just now discovering my assignment. There's tremendous value in the journey, a chance to learn and grow no matter what the job or situation.
"Do you love what you’re doing, feel you’re contributing, and getting rewarded well? Are you in a job you absolutely love?"
NO definetely NOT. But, in this economy, I'm happy I have a job. (I'm hoping my employers don't read this) haha. But I keep doing what I have to do at this job to survive there. I know it's only a temporary situation. I keep a low profile, work hard, and do a good job and show progress. I'm not out to impress anyone.
I call it character building. Sure this job won't get me to prosperity, but the attitude I keep about it will get me to prosperity...
Just my 2 cents...
I call it character building. Sure this job won’t get me to prosperity, but the attitude I keep about it will get me to prosperity…
Very well put! We can learn so many lessons from every job we try on...dealing effectively with coworkers, bosses, subordinates, etc; learning about business and how the different aspects of business work together as a machine; technology; lots of learning potential.
Don't get me wrong: if a job is truly soul-sucking and miserable, GET OUT ASAP, absolutely. But looking at an OK job through rosier-colored glasses and a positive perspective reaps many rewards. Many times we can CHOOSE to love an OK job...to make THE MOST of it. If you like what you do for eight hours a day, there's less stress to you and you "bring home" less stress to your family. Maybe it's a matter of "job detoxification"?
Some of the coolest Millionaires came from washing dishes. I am sure they will admit- that phase in their life has lent immense perspective and appreciation to all the hard work it took to get to abundance.
At what age should you have discovered your assignment, and be in work that you truly love?
That "should" in there feels like when Tony Robbins talks about "shoulding" all over yourself.
Whenever I starting thinking along those lines I just feel bad.
My observation is that a lot of people who are great in a field started very young and managed to be good enough to be able to continue in that field and get the years of experience needed to move on to true greatness. (To make this make more sense, I'd point to someone like Pete Townshend who got famous in the 1960s enough to be a musician for life, but he did amazing work much later in his career.)
People like Colonel Sanders and Burt Mustin are inspiring because they didn't let their age stop them. Makes me think I still have a chance, though I would much rather have hit upon the right thing when I was much younger.
My husband was a commercial pilot then decided to go into show business as a singer. Did that for 23 years in Las Vegas. Quit that at 68 and decided to become a speaker. Now at 71 he has a new purpose in life and fully expects 30 years of fun and fulfillment from his new ventures. It's never too late to reinvent yourself and start something new. You must have a purpose in life or you are one of the living dead. Who says you have to pick one thing and stick with it for life? Just find something that makes you happy and go for it.
Well let me be the first to comment here Randy.. And THAT'S a first in itself!
I think the age you discover what you love and your purpose is directly connected to The Journey. Since I can only speak for myself, it has taken decades for me to finally uncover my life purpose and with that comes the awareness of what I truly love.
And no, I don't think there's anything wrong with working in a kitchen, digging holes, working in retail, being a temp or anything else while you're uncovering what you love. In fact, by doing those things you just might find it right in front of your face! Better yet, it may open the door to a new direction you hadn't thought of previously. I know of what I speak as I'm working on what I believe is my 10th different career path, though THIS one is The Dream.
I also think that many people get stuck through outdated thinking and beliefs. They don't even bother to do the work to uncover their true passion due to fear of success. To me this is a travesty since we all have so much to give to the world.
"Do what you love and the money will come"
"If you build it, they will come"
And as Nike says, "Just Do It!"
I don't think the it's 'what you do' that defines you - it's 'who you are' when you are doing it that makes the difference.
Eckhardt Tolle talks of 'awakened doing' i.e. being spiritually connected with the task at hand - this stands in contrast to the 'alienated doing' that so many people in this (particularly western) world ascribe to.
If we're going to sweep the streets we should 'sweep the streets even as Michelangelo painted or Beethoven composed music..' as Martin Luther King put it.
We only have 2 choices as far as I can see: Learn to love what we do - or leave. The only other option is stagnation and decay.
Thanks for your post Randy!