Passion is a funny thing. We feel passion about creative endeavors we embark upon, the things we do on the weekend, and once in a while about the work that we do.
Unfortunately the last point, passion about work, is not a feeling many people I know of can relate to. I have friends who have the great job, the job their parents are proud of and their friends jealous about but who feel like they're losing a part of their soul every day they continue to going into work and answer the emails or respond to the inquiries that just don't make any sense.
So many of us are passionless in work, or even just plain miserable. As a coach, the majority of my clients come to me with the same problem, the same challenges, and the same idea about what to do next. They don't know.
While an article can never quite explain it all, I've narrowed it down to a four key things one can do in an effort to feel more passion in life.
One caveat - if you've given up hope at your job, you have a chance, but unless you choose to try again this advice isn't for you.
Identify why you took the job in the first place
Why did you want to work there initially? What did you talk about and feel excitement for in your interviews. Is that still part of your work? If so, is it still meaningful to you?
If it's no longer meaningful to you, that's okay! Our priorities and interests change.
If it is still meaningful to you, but the meaning has been lost in the drudgery/frustration/a terrible boss, take some time to go back to the early days there. What was it that brought you joy back then? Take some time at the start of each and every day to think about the values and goals your company is working toward. Recognize that each and every activity that you do, even if it's not directly contributing to the goal, is, in it's small way, contributing to the mission that you value.
Dissect the negative and CHOOSE the positive
What exactly is it that is so bad there? In The Happiness Project, Gretchen, the author tells the story of a woman who was about to take a new job. Everyone she knew warned her that her future boss was a terror and would make her life miserable. She knew the job was exactly what she wanted and needed next in her career but that if she let the horrible boss effect her, that it wasn't going to pan out. So, she decided that she would never think or say a bad thing about her boss. No matter the horrors, she would stay positive and avoid focusing on the bad. And you know what - she ended up being hugely successful AND ended up having a great relationships with her "horrible boss".
Write down ALL of the complaints that you have about your job. Seriously, all of them. Once you've got them down, take some time to think about how your choice of how you experience these things amplifies your pain.
Next, take some time and write down ways you can better react to these negative feelings. Can you shut down your negative/complaining thoughts like Gretchen's friend? Can you choose to act and react in a different way to make the experience less painful? Consider alternate reactions YOU can have to the situation and set an intent to act in that way moving forward.
Make time for yourself
Many of us end up saying yes to every request that is asked of us. We stay late, missing dinner and social engagements and exhausting ourselves. We stop doing the things that we love - the dinner parties and the hikes and the adventures. It's incredible how much of our life is sucked out of us by the stress and TIME that we allow our jobs to take.
I know that it feels like you MUST work all of those hours to get everything done. But you know what. If the project launches a week later, will it really be the end of the world? If the report waits until morning, will there really be people waiting at midnight to read it? Sometimes the answer to these questions is yes, but sit for a minute with this. Is it truly yes ALL of the time?
Set boundaries for yourself at work. Set the hours you're willing to work. Make allowances for extra hours once in a while. Allow yourself to get more sleep, to go to the gym, to have time to go for a walk at the end of the day with a friend or loved one. YOU HAVE THE CHOICE. Until you choose to take time for yourself, you will not ever have the time to live life and do all of those things that make you happy.
Start making time now. Set your hours so that you have time to rest and rejuvenate. Schedule the things that you love to do and actually do them. Make time to take care of yourself. You are in control of how much you work. Less hours does not make you a worse employee. Instead, focus on quality. Communicate that this is your style of work and that for you to be successful you will not answer email after 8pm. And then actually stick to it. :)
Appreciate where you are
I know it sucks. I know your boss is awful. But you know what, you've got a salary and a roof over your head. You have food on the table and probably even a few friends that like to spend time with you. You probably go on trips once in a while and can afford fun things on the weekend. You, my friend, have got it pretty good!
Now take some time, each and every day to reflect on this fact.