In a Harvard Business Review blog post, Jeff Stibel highlights the importance of passion for our work: On Entrepreneurship, Steve Jobs, and Unashamedly Loving Your Work. While every job has its highs and lows, ideally you’d like the good moments to outnumber the bad. In some situations, there are factors beyond our control that contribute to our lows. But often, when we find ourselves wanting to stay in bed rather than go to work, the root cause is our attitude. This is GREAT news, because our attitude is 100% controllable by each of us!
Steve Jobs was once quoted with saying the following:
“For the past 33 years I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”
My current work environment is challenging. We have too much work for too few people. However, if I conscientiously set my attitude to neutral and evaluate my responsibilities, I must admit that I like most of the work required of me. Yes, we all have tasks we’d like to avoid, but overall I much prefer a dynamic environment over a dull environment. Dynamic is challenging, but it also offers far greater opportunity for job satisfaction.
When we look at what really excites us and gives us a sense of satisfaction, it isn’t the day-in/day-out responsibilities that fulfill us, but the challenges we face and the problems we solve.
So, next time you find yourself frustrated by a challenge or problem that seems insurmountable, just set your attitude correctly and start breaking your problem down into manageable, bite-sized chunks. Then, as Peter Brock says “Bite off a bit more than you can chew and then chew like hell”.