Monday, June 2, 2014

Can We Choose To Enjoy Our Jobs?

Can we choose to enjoy anything for that matter?  Do we have the capacity to accept the circumstance in which we find ourselves, and make the choice to enjoy whatever we are asked to do? 

In order to do this we must accept our circumstances as if we had chosen them.
Can we… I mean the majority of us, actually do that?  Even if we can, most of us don’t know how.  If we did, wouldn’t we all just choose to accept our circumstances and be a lot less stressed?

What does it mean to enjoy something?
The definition includes: to derive pleasure from, take pleasure in, get benefit from, or take delight in.  How many parts of your job do you take delight in?  There are probably some parts from which you derive pleasure, right?

Why do some people enjoy a job while others detest that same job?
Most of us find enjoyment in some things and not in others.  We have hobbies, sports, exercise, interacting with others, being with family, helping others, spending money, showing off, learning… the list goes on and on.

Some people have always enjoyed running, while others detest it.
Some of us get real pleasure from meeting new people, while others avoid it at all costs.
I know people who would gladly spend their time sorting and organizing, while other people think of that as torture.
Plenty of people love being the center of attention; perhaps teaching in front of a group, while lots of others would rather have a toe bitten off by a snapping turtle.

Are some jobs inherently pleasant, while others distasteful or not enjoyable?
I want to say that most of us would agree that some jobs are generally enjoyable, and the more I think about it the more I wonder if it’s true.  The more we hear about the lives of the rich, famous, celebrity, sports star… the more we understand their aberrant behavior.  They may have nicer things around them, and they seem to have the same issues as the rest of us with enjoying their jobs and lives.

Is stress caused by our inability to accept what is happening?  By our inability to choose to enjoy our jobs?
Stress is a state of mental tension and worry, or fear, caused by problems… and what are ‘problems’?  Many would argue that most of our ‘problems’ are simply our inability, or unwillingness to accept what is happening in our jobs and in our lives, or our fear about what might happen.

Once we accept that we get paid the same no matter how we feel about what we have to do, then perhaps we can choose to enjoy whatever needs to be done. 
I consciously choose to continue to go to this job for the money and benefits, in trade for having to do the tasks of this job.   If I fully understand that I have a choice… that I can choose how to see those tasks, then why wouldn’t I choose to do them as if I had chosen them, since I do in fact choose them each time I show up for work?  And if I do them as if I had chosen them, it will be much easier to find some enjoyment in them.  Work will be less stressful, and I will be able to do each task with purpose and enjoyment.

It’s all about acceptance…

There are two other sides of this that I think are worth addressing…

1.    We all have different personal limits.
We are all very different as we talked about above.  Some of us find ourselves on the extreme side of either introvert of extrovert for example, and this, for most, is not a choice.  

These personality differences can bring with them sensory limits, or other limits that we have to learn to live with.  They are not crutches, nor can we use them as excuses.

Some of us can only be in crowded places for so long.
Some people find it very difficult to be or work alone.
There are people who seem work better with music or background noise, while others need near silence in order to do their best.

Do you know and accept your limits?
The way to deal with our differences is to fully understand and accept how we are.  Self-awareness is the key to knowing what works for us, as well as what does not work for us. 

Accepting ourselves for who we are, with our strengths and weaknesses, is our key to finding the right job, and making a life that where we can more readily find enjoyment.

You should choose a job that falls within those limits.  Otherwise we are almost constantly at odds with our natural state, and it can be very difficult to accept that we have put ourselves into situations for which we are not well suited.

2.    Acceptance does not mean stationary or static.
Accepting what is happening as if we had chosen it does not mean that we cannot make things better, or improve our performance, our job, or anything else about our lives.

In fact it allows us to stop struggling so much with our current circumstances, which can make room for us to work on changing our circumstances.  Acceptance can make it easier for us to make the changes we want in our jobs and lives, while we stop fighting the current reality.

Please let me know if I’ve left out any important parts of this topic.

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