Do you love your work? Do you get ready for work with anticipation for what the day will bring? (or night – I worked night shifts but never got my internal time clock adjusted!) Do you know that what you are doing, or how you are doing it, makes a difference in the lives you meet? It would seem to be a very disheartening assessment to look back at 30 – 40 years of work and not be able to know that what you did made a difference.
Some might believe that in today’s economy just having a job is the most you can expect. But my parents grew up in the Great Depression and I came along in the 60’s and 70’s so there have always been economic factors which influence our career choices. Making a career choice based on the amount of income cannot be the primary reason for choosing a career.
Each of us has been given talents. Some of us are great at multi-tasking. We can juggle three or four or five projects at one time and not break a sweat or worry about an ulcer. Others are visionaries. They see how things could be improved. Or maybe you are able to focus in on a huge tangled problem and work it through until it is smoothed out and functional.
We’ve also been given a spark of joy when we can do certain activities. I know a woman who just loves to work with plants. There is a peace that comes over her when she’s getting in the dirt! I envy people like her and so many others who have artistic talents. They are creative and make all our lives just more beautiful! I have seen nurses who have that joy when they leave a patient more comfortable, whether physically or spiritually. They know how to position a pillow or speak in calm, reassuring tones that make a horrific situation just “better.”
I believe we should encourage our children to identify their talents; identify what gives them joy. Then help them to see how they can use those to make a difference in their lives and in the world they live in.
There are certainly days (or nights) when any career feels like a “job.” But it doesn’t have to be every day. Maybe we need to be reminded why we chose this path and reconnect to the joy we used to know. Or maybe we need to pick our heads up out of the tasks and open our eyes to see who we are influencing or serving. Whether it is the career itself or our attitude about it, stoke those smoldering coals which used to be a fire of passion and find the joy again for the everyday opportunities which come our way.