Craft a job you love
“You have been brainwashed by school and by the system into believing that your job is to do your job and follow instructions. It’s not; not anymore. Just being someone who shows up, follows directions and works hard isn’t enough to get ahead anymore; it can be a recipe for disaster.” – Seth Godin
How I wish my parents read this quote! It would have made them less anxious about my employability when I was riding the wave of teenage rebellion with‘We don’t need no education…’
Thanks, Seth. Owe you one.
I always knew that there was something very wrong with the age-old notion of a job being just a job. A necessity to pay bills and live. A career just to finance life. Not Thrive.
But society deterred my perception. I was out-numbered.
And now, I finally have the likes of Jim Rohn supporting me- “Work hard at your job and you can make a living. Work hard on yourself and you can make a fortune.”
No one tells us the important part about doing a job – about loving it, living it, enjoying it. No one tells us that a job shouldn’t feel like a job, but an adventure. There are numerous people who have reached that point of ecstasy in their job, blending work with enjoyment. *whispers* Without smoking pot.
*Gasp* Is that even possible?
Oh, yeah it is!
What separates the Thrivers from the Existers is their attitude towards the work they do- be it selling sugar water or redefining human interaction with machines. In their relentless pursuit of craftsmanship, they invest an incredible amount of time in honing their craft. They put their heart into the work that they do.
Because they understand that the passion-worthy jobs are built brick-by-brick, by choice, by working hard for it. They are not found serendipitously by switching spaces.
If you’re still lost with my ramblings, I’ll break it down into simple action items to lift your work from a job to a craft-
No job is too small
“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”, said Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
There is nothing like an insignificant job.
Everything that you do impact someone. Someone is counting on you to get shit done. And not doing it well could have any degree of ramification. If you don’t know the big picture, then find it. See what you can learn from it – big or small. Viewing a job as small makes us go through the motions in a robotic manner. But seeing it as an act of self-expression changes our perspective.
Get better each day
“The most important investment you can make is in yourself. Very few people get anything like their potential horsepower translated into the actual horsepower of their output in life. The best asset is your own self. You can become to an enormous degree the person you want to be.” – Warren Buffett
So what’s keeping people away from harnessing their actual horsepower? Hard focus and discipline. Every single day is another opportunity to work on your craft. So focus on getting better each and every day. Get yourself a mentor, read books, attend workshops, figure out your weaknesses and work on improving them. Get into the habit of doing deliberate practice. Trust me, even thirty minutes of uninterrupted zone daily can do wonders.
Put on your creative hat
One of the important things that set apart mundane work from the work-that-you-love is creativity. Without creativity, you would be doing the same thing over and over again.
And, Repetition = Stagnation = Death by boredom
Your creativity is your escape velocity from the pull of mundane. Start with small ways to do things differently, come up with alternative plans, build the curiosity muscle to mull over things and come up with revolutionary ideas. Do things that have never been done. The challenges will make you a little uncomfortable but that’s where you’ll learn. This is how you will evolve to be better at what you do.
There’s nothing more valuable than working on yourself. Work on getting better. Be your in-house project. It will help you so much in becoming more than you currently are.
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