Work takes a lot of our time each day. Ok, let’s be honest most of us take work with us many places including our evenings, rest time, the bathroom and more. We never really disconnect from it sometimes. There are experiences we go through that don’t feel good to us, people we would rather avoid, and well it is just work. It can really take the shine from our smile and become something we dread going to do every day. While I’ve always been grateful for my job and how it provides for my family I know given the choice it would not be something I voluntarily did with my time.
I like to work. Honest. It feels good to create something, be productive, contribute, collaborate and participate in. I like getting my hands into things and helping others. These things give me a sense of accomplishment and pride. Most work places promote they have cultures filled with these elements and are giving of their employees to live productive lives. However, most us who have worked any length of time soon realize most of us have jobs, not satisfying, soul filling careers. We work hard, do our best and often it is not enough. We may even be in situations where promotions are given to others, raises are subjectively applied or limited, and our co-workers are less than honorables. Yet we go into every day hoping we can just stay off the radar, earn our pay and get through our day. We become shineless and intentionally try to blend in despite it not making us feel like us.
So many of us settle for what we do to earn pay. We measure a good job by what it pays, the benefit package, how much opportunity there is possible and the type of people we will work with every day. If it isn’t too bad and it is tolerable we feel lucky. We are grateful for the job because it provides for our family’s needs, gives us a couple weeks vacation each year and we say that is enough. Is it though? Are we really ok not living up to our full work potential and passing on things that might light our soul on fire? Were we really just here to put in 40 hours a week until we save enough to rush into retirement and finally live happily ever after? For most of us the answer is no.
What do we do about it though? What are the options? It is terrifying to have this awareness we are missing out on something important in our life when it comes to work. Our livelihoods are vulnerable and that doesn’t feel good. Yet I challenge you to consider using that vulnerability to fuel your inspiration into what could be possible. Dipping your toe in just a little to create something more for yourself. We each have talents and creativity that is powerful but not enough of us get to use it every day in our jobs. Imagine how differently our world would look if we were all willing to tap into these gifts!
I chose a few years ago to start a new business while I worked in my job. It has been busy. There are times I fit it into the 10 minute segments of my day and others I get up hours early to work on it. I took it with me when I traveled for my job and worked on it in hotels at night. I make calls and schedule appointments any free minute I get. I do these things because it has given me the awakening to realize how much my job had taken away my shine. I still give it my all at my job but I give it even more in my business.
Having something that fuels our soul is important when it comes to work. If we don’t have something to shine through with the labor of our own hands then the grayness of our work blends into all areas of our life. I believe we start to be less happy overall and pick apart our lives like a scab that won’t heal. We settle in our jobs, our home life, our prepackaged vacations each year and in what makes us smile. Maybe that’s all there is to life right? Yet when we shift that to include something that stirs our soul the color comes back to our days. We see something that was always there but in a new light that motivates and inspires us.
I used to think having a business of my own was not for me. It was too much work and I didn’t have time for it. I never thought I had interest in creating my own business either. I used to think it was for people who were already rich and cashing in on the next big thing. Now I know it is for everyone and whether solo or in partnership with others, claiming that power is saving our very lives. It is awakening us to what work should feel like every day where Monday’s don’t suck and our boss is us. We take back our power and gifts and use them the way they were intended to be used in this world. It may be small but every business starts with the awareness of this potential and the willingness to take a chance.