According to Deloitte Shift Index Survey, 87% of people don’t have a passion for what they do.
Adults employed full time in the U.S. report working an average of 47 hours per week, almost a full workday longer than what a standard five-day, 9-to-5 schedule entails. That means by far the majority of our time is spent working. For too many of us, work comes with little to no passion. Why? Because it’s “work.”
Unhappiness at work can impact you in more ways than one, here are just a few:
- 25% of Americans say their number 1 source of stress is their job.
- If you are spending ⅓ of your life doing something you don’t enjoy, this can create mental and physical health implications.
- Stress from work can affect your personal life and spill over into your relationships at home.
I’m going to share why it’s vital to be passionate about your work.
Look. I get that it seems I’m romanticizing work with words like “passion”. I know most of you have to stay in your job. You have bills to pay. You could be up for a promotion in the next few months. You have been at the same company for years, and it could be comfortable.
Imagine a different work life. If money wasn’t an object, if there was no promotion in the future, or you were ready to leave your comfort zone…what would your work day look like? Would you be at the same company or somewhere else? Would you start your own business or help build someone else’s? What are some things that give you enjoyment, could you incorporate those things into your work life?
Can you imagine a life working in which you are truly happy?
People throw words like “fulfillment” and “purpose” and…yes..“passion” around when it comes to work. I have seen friends roll their eyes when I bring it up, shutting down thoughts that those words have anything to do with what they do for a living. We are trained that work is just something to make money, and our true passions have to do with what we do on nights and weekends.
We spend over ⅓ of our lives working. How can fulfillment, purpose and passion NOT be important? None of us want to be one of people who look back at decades of an empty life when they are older. Are you on that path and don’t even realize it? It’s not too late to blaze a path. I challenge you to start thinking differently.
I wake up every morning by 3:30am ready to take on the challenges, excitement and fun of my work day. I can’t wait to unlock the doors to my office every morning knowing the day ahead is a blank canvas that I get to paint. And, when I’m locking the doors at night, what gives me true purpose is to see how that canvas has been painted.
Close your eyes for a second and think about that blank canvas. Not much there, right? It is just an empty sheet of white. Think about if you walked into your work every day and saw that same canvas. And, your goal of the day was to be as creative as possible filling up that blank slate. Different colors, textures and techniques…and, of course, mistakes, corrections and white-out. Straight lines, crooked arcs. Unfinished parts, completed masterpiece.
This doesn’t mean what we envisioned in the morning is how it finishes at night. But with that last stroke on the canvas, I step back with pride, knowing that I enjoyed the experience.
And, every night when I think about that canvas before I go to sleep, it puts a smile on my face. This is my creation. This is my work. I feel fulfilled by the journey I am on.
So why do so many of us settle for what we do for a living?
Do you feel the same fulfillment when you get home? If not, have you thought about why?
Is the mindset that the canvas is already painted, and you are just there to do a touch up?
Or, that it wouldn’t matter what you paint because it would be crossed out by someone?
Do you even touch that canvas at work?
I see that work is not inspiring for many people to be creative on their own daily canvas, to look upon every night with pride and meaning. I know too many people who only live for the weekends. I know it’s a hard conversation to have as some people feel trapped.
Change can be uncomfortable, and that is ok. But, fear of discomfort can hold you back.
There is no greater way to stagnate in your career than to resist change.
We all have areas in our life where we are resisting change. It’s a human instinct to gravitate to what we know. But does what’s familiar truly make you happy? Have you left your own comfort zone? If not, it could be because of fear, lack of self confidence, or just being comfortable. Do you have passion in your work life? When you talk about your job, do you say, “Ah, whatever. It pays the bills. Anyway, I can’t wait to retire in 15 years.”?
I challenge you to redefine the word “work” and start exploring what would give you passion and fulfillment each day.
What drives you? What excites you? What would fuel you to jump out of bed in the morning, ready to crush the day?
Start dreaming of a truly ideal life. You will begin to head down a new path and find deeper purpose in your work.