“I absolutely hate my job” is what my friend who lives in San Diego told me the other day. She felt bored, stagnant, uninspired, unsupported, grumpy, grouchy, agitated and lost.
“But I took a two hour lunch break yesterday, and went kayaking.”
“Wait, what? Middle of the day? What did your boss say?”
“My boss was totally cool with it. Encouraged it, actually.”
That’s the rub, isn’t it? When we let ourselves stew, it’s so easy to get caught up in the negative bias in our brain. From an evolutionary standpoint, our brains were designed to have this negative bias as a way of protection. Over time, and in our modern world, it’s too easy for this negative bias to creep in even in the midst of many positive occurrences. I think this happens a lot, for so many of us, when we think about our work. I know I fall into this trap as well.
We are all looking to find some hacks to help us navigate life when the feelings my friend described above show up.
Here are three tips to help you get
(Watch this video or continue reading below.)
1) Learn Something New Related to Your Work.
Find something that interests you in your field, and dive in! My friend who has been a school teacher for 20 years hits a bit of a reboot every 2-3 years. He will find a new professional development opportunity, or introduce to his students a new theory on writing, or find a whole new set of novels for his students to read. I do this every few years by diving into research on a particular topic (I know, I am a brain geek – this is what I do!!). The beauty is that I really do love the act of research, and then I equally love creating new content off of this research. This is how A Moxie Tribe came about!
2) Put the 20% Rule Into Effect.
Studies show if you can get to where you find enjoyment and fulfillment out of 20% of your work, that should be enough to propel you into sustaining passion for your job. It’s not realistic to love every single bit of your work, so again, don’t let that negative bias dominate. One more tip around this 20% rule – if possible, be strategic as to when you work on that 20% part – My favorite part of my work is content creation and interacting with my A Moxie Tribe members – so I try to do this at the start of my day, so it sets the tone for the rest of the day. If you are someone who wants a bigger boost towards the end of the day to send you home in a better mood, try to work on the 20% then.
3) Look Outside Your Job to Find the Benefits.
Circling back to my friend from San Diego, what a treat it is for her to be able to kayak in the middle of the day. While I start working at 5AM most days, I also walk my dog, go to yoga, am at the kitchen counter when my kids come home from school, and rarely ever miss watching one of their activities. The truth is, it would be easy for me to just focus on the amount of work or travel I have (again, hello negative bias!!), when the reality is this work and travel allows for a lot in my life, for which I am truly grateful.
I would love to hear from you – what’s something you do to restore passion in your work? Leave us a comment below!
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