Why Should Work be “Work?”

Why Should Work be “Work?”

I personally believe we have the wrong idea about work. There is a popular concept in this country that “work” is supposed to be something you do to earn money, sustain yourself, support your family, do for a long time, and then retire to a life of leisure. In short, work is a lot of things, but it’s not fun.

This Has to Change

In my recent series of posts, I discussed why Freelancing is the job of the future. (  http://bit.ly/2v8mXJm ). In that post, I listed the 10 skills you will need if you are to succeed in the coming upheaval in the job market.
To recap, here they are:
1. Complex problem solving
2. Critical Thinking
3. Creativity
4. People management
5. Coordinating with others.
6. Emotional Intelligence
7. Judgment and decision making
8. Service orientation
9. Negotiation
10. Cognitive Flexibility
These are all “soft skills” that can be applied no matter what field you work in. But…the one thing I never talked about was what to do.
So, here is your challenge for today. What do you want to do? What excites you? What fascinates you? What do you love doing so much, you would do it for free?
Got it? Write it down.
Here’s the good news. Whatever you love to do, someone will pay you to do it.

Having Fun at Work

OK. Here’s my next question. If you are doing something you love so much you’d do it for free, are you having fun? You betcha. And, on top of that wouldn’t you want to be the very best at it?
Here’s an example. Joseph Campbell was a Professor of Comparative Mythology at Sarah Lawrence College. Now studying Comparative Mythology sounds about as exciting as watching paint dry, right? As Joseph Campbell researched different mythologies, he became convinced of the existence of a “Monomyth.” He believed that all the world’s mythologies and religions were based on this single, original, myth. This same Monomyth could also be used to describe and explain human existence.
Campbell began to write about his theories. One of his first books was “The Hero With a Thousand Faces.” This one book has influenced generations of writers and filmmakers. George Lucas used it as the basis for the plots in the Stars Wars movies.
Campbell’s philosophy of life? “Follow your bliss.”
And when you follow your bliss, work isn’t “work” anymore.

Lifelong Learning

Here’s the catch. Whatever you choose to do, you will need to apply lifelong learning to be the best. You will never get to the point where you “know it all.”
Writers read constantly. They do so to see how others ply their trade. Only by studying the masters can they improve themselves.
Musicians practice constantly to improve. I once saw an interview with Vladimir Horowitz, the famous concert pianist. In it, he stated that he used to practice 8 hours a day, but since turning 80, he cut it to 6.
Most professional athletes spend 6 to 8 hours a day training.
Who are the masters of your field? Find out. Study them. How did they get to be the best? How do they stay at the top of their game?
Here’s the best news of all. If you really love what you’re doing, this won’t be “work.” It will be fun. Because one of the mysteries of life is learning that it’s not the goal, it’s the journey that is the most satisfying.
P.S.  If you’d like to read “The Hero with a Thousand Faces”, just click on the link below.  (Full disclosure, I am an Amazon Affiliate.)

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