I came across an article in the May issue of Yoga Journal (How Yoga Can Help You Love Your Job) that was probably one of the best work-related pieces I’ve read in a while. It was a response to the “What if I don’t love my job” angst that seemed not only to fit the magazine’s readers who might be looking for a strong connection between meaning and their daily activities but it also fits one of the recurring themes seems so pervasive it’s hard to notice any more. Live Your Dreams.
As the article points out, it would be nice if we could all rely on the universe to provide once we’d embraced our true destiny, but I’ve got these bills sitting on my desk in a messy pile next to my computer and these kids who need things like clothing, food, and the occasional weird rubber bracelets or “awesome” socks. So what to do?
I love my work, I’m not in a soul-sucking-situation where I can feel time smothering me like molasses (I’ve been there, I’d recognize it for sure) but there are moments when we all look up and think “This is it? Is this what I’m meant to do?” I think people are wired to search for the big picture – some sort of meaning beyond themselves. At least most of us.
The article had one of the most elegant responses – the meaning is in the doing. Think about that for a moment. You bring your core self to the task, doing it in a way that is consistent with your values and your larger self. The implication? You let go of the results.
I think of doing good work as getting to the “end.” You know, A+, success, smiles, check that one off the list.
I had to think about that one for a few minutes. I had to think hard.
My work is not predictable – even if I do my best in the execution, the end result is usually up for grabs. Letting go of the notion that a “failure” is still the result of good work does not come naturally. I’m still trying this one on – tentatively – and thinking that if I can’t just pick up and live my dreams a la Hollywood, maybe I can give it a shot at the micro-level.
We’ll see how it goes.