The ideal state for all of us at work—from leadership to the front line—is to do what you love in the service of people who love what you do.
The emotion of love is often considered to be out of place or simply inappropriate in the world of business. Many even believe that good business people keep their hearts out of their work, but the opposite is true. It’s the heart that brings the fire of creativity to bear on the day-to-day. It’s the heart that inspires drive, loyalty and leaps of innovative brilliance.
I’m NOT saying you should love every aspect of your work or job. We all have things that we have to do whether we like (let alone “love”) them or not. We have a technical term for that; it’s called “being an adult.”
So here’s the key: If you DON’T like your job, your company, your boss or the people you work with, then don’t start by jumping to the conclusion that you’re in the wrong place (you may be—just don’t start there). The first step is to find something—anything—about your work that you do love (and if love’s too strong of a word for you, I’ll accept “like” or “care about”).
Is there colleague at the office you enjoy working with? Are there particular clients or customers who appreciate the great work you do for them? Is there a role model in your company that you look up to and get inspiration from? Is there something about the principles or mission of your company that you find personally gratifying?
In the day-to-day crush and pressure of things, it’s very easy to forget about the good and meaningful elements of your job; yet, if you intentionally remind yourself of those things and focus on them for a time— you’ll find that your level of personal satisfaction, energy, and enthusiasm will come back. Sometimes right away.
So, next Monday morning, after you brush your teeth and have your coffee, instead of allowing yourself to be overcome with a sense of dread about the imminent workday and week, ask yourself this question:
“What do I love (or at least “like”) about this work / company / team / project / colleague / client, etc…and how can I show it in the way I work?”
And if you find that you have absolutely no answer to any variation of that question—not even if you squint—then let me offer a simple, one-word answer to your dilemma: