The only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. —Steve Jobs
If you are like me, chances are you have struggled to find happiness in your job one time or another. The scary fact is that most people (80% according to a Deloitte’s Shift Index survey) are dissatisfied with their jobs. If you look at how many hours you will work in your lifetime and how many hours you will commute to and back corresponding to your work, you will realise that it is a lot to be spending on some thing that makes you unhappy.
The average person spends 90,000 hours at work over their lifetime – Happiness at Work, Psychology Today
While some unhappy employees muster up the courage to change careers, most will likely suffer with it for the sake of job security.
Ask any boys of girls about their ambitions, chances are you will get a variety of interesting answers. Fireman. Dancer. Football player. Astronaut. Anything is possible. You may discount them for being young and that they know not yet the struggles of life. Can they really be a successful dancer, football player or even an astronaut? Do they even know the risks that come with being a fireman? Cringe as you may, but their answers are actually guided simply by what they thought would make then really happy. There were no limits.
This is also true for many of us. There may be a determined few who have never lost sight of their aspirations to do and be what they wanted to be. But I suspect for many of us, we have forgotten our ambitions and and allowed our dreams be washed down over the years. We begin to settle for jobs and compromise for the wrong reasons. We accepted the notion that it is just not realistic to pursue our passion and still make a decent living. Many of us have started on this path of compromise and it does not seem that we will be able to make it back. This is sad mainly because we are likely to be spending more than a third of our lives working. And this compromise will eat away at you.
So how can you and I find happiness in our work?