Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Passion at Work

Martin Luther King Jr.,, once said "If a man is called to be a street-sweeper, he should sweep streets even as 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.'"

Do we love our job? Do we even like it? Or do we find our work about as interesting as spending eight hours a day watching paint dry?

How many of us feel happy that its Monday? Do you look forward to Monday morning? Are you raring to go back to work? Or are you a TGIF (Thank God it's Friday) kind of person who can't wait to get away from the job for a couple of days? You spend at least 8-9 hours a day at the job. That is almost 25-30% of your week. If you are a TGIF person you are missing something really important in your work life - passion.

Unfortunately, many people don't enjoy their work. What's worse is that they have no expectation that they should. Work is often seen as the means to an end. Work your job, so you can pay your bills.

Being passionate about your job is more than the old adage "do what you love". It's looking forward to going to work. It's time flying by when you're there. It's working past quitting time, not because you're swamped with work, but because you were so intent you didn't notice the time.

How does one get passionate about their job:
1. Putting passion in work: The trick is not just to feel passionately about your job, but to act passionately too. If you act passionately, you won't sit passively through another boring meeting. You can't. You will share that passion with the others in the meeting. Your energy can lift all of them. Even if it doesn't, you will feel better knowing you are doing something to advance the cause in which you believe passionately.

2. Be innovative: To be so involved with your work that once you have determined your goal, be prepared to try different approaches. The method of choice is the method, which will work best, not necessarily the usual method. If the common sense approach does not work, invent a new one. Be adapting and modifying whatever is at hand to solve the problem and to achieve the objective.

3. Self driven and motivated: Its not necessary that we need the organizational environment or the boss’ attitude to drive us or put us down. A person passionate at job can be consistent in his job by his own drive and when situations are bad he continues to work with the same vigor or maybe more. There is no need to search for means of motivation, the work itself is a cause to enjoy it.

4. Sharpen the axe: Once upon a time a very strong woodcutter asks for a job from a timber merchant, and he got it. The pay was really good and so were the work conditions. For that reason, the woodcutter was determined to do his best.
His boss gave him an axe and showed him the area where he was supposed to work.
The first day, the woodcutter brought 18 trees down.
"Congratulations," the boss said. "Go on that way!"
Very motivated by the boss’ words, the woodcutter tried harder the next day, but he only could bring down 5 trees. The third day he tried even harder, but he only could bring down 10 trees. Day after day he was bringing down less and less trees.

"I must be losing my strength", the woodcutter thought. He went to the boss and apologized, saying that he could not understand what was going on.
"When was the last time you sharpened your axe?" the boss asked.
"Sharpen? I had no time to sharpen my axe. I have been very busy trying to cut trees..."

To get optimal results we need to sharpen our skills consistently. Being adept at our job can help us achieve our targets.

Let me summarize the points as to how we can be passionate at our job:
First: Putting passion at work, don’t just feel passionate about your job– act passionately too
Second: Be innovative, Try new and different approaches
Third: Be self driven and motivated: You don’t need to depend on external sources for motivation
Fourth: Sharpen the axe - Keep sharpening your skills more often.

Life is short. Don't waste your life waiting for the weekends. Find something that ignites your passion and go for it. In the words of author H. Jackson Browne, "Find a job you like and you add five days to every week."

[I had written this article in 2004 on www.selfgrowth.com/articles/Sharma4.html. Started blogging in 2005 else this article would have been part of my blog then, taking this opportunity now to add it to my blog :) ]

2 comments:

Undsandeep said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Undsandeep said...

Wowwwwwwwwwww..what an article!!..loved it..