Some jobs are more stressful than others, but someone has to do them! In a world that tells us to find fulfillment from our work, we can feel even more frustrated in careers that do everything but bring us joy.
When we were born, we weren't given a list of gifts and talents so we could read all the pros and cons, try each one on like a pair of pants, and choose based on what made us feel the happiest. Instead, we slowly discovered our gifts as we grew and saw the results of our efforts. Some of our gifts we may love, and others are simply the way we were made to give back to society.
Honestly, if I could have picked my talents, I would be a famous artist or musician. I've always just played the “wannabe” admiring from afar. In the past, I was given jobs that used other gifts that were not as exciting (i.e. organization). Jobs in which the purpose had nothing to do with changing the world as much as it impacted the CEO's paycheck. But I still worked, because I was good at it.
Some of you can relate. You may feel like you have no way out or that you will never find happiness because of your career. You're really good at what you do, but there's no fulfillment as a reward for your hard work.
I'm excited to tell you that there are ways you can create your happiness outside of work, and below are 6 ideas to get you started:
[Picture found on Positivity Note's Facebook page. Aiming to spread joy and positivity]
1. Create it yourself.
As I said above, I desired to be an artist and musician. But I slowly realized you have to be good at art and music (such a bummer…). But that didn't mean I couldn't do these things on a regular basis in my personal time! Yes, you may not see any of my watercolor canvases in an art show or see me rockin' on the guitar at a sold out concert, but I still have a box full of paint supplies and several instruments–including my voice that attempts to sing every Broadway musical soundtrack.
Whatever it is you have always wanted to do, make time for it! Join a class for beginners or a club with people who share a similar passion. Better yet, teach a class and start a club! You will soon notice your attitude at work will change because you aren't putting pressure on your job to satisfy you.
2. Stop comparing.
Oh comparison, you get us every time. Some of my past jobs caused me to compare myself to those who were living the dream or changing the world. You know who I'm talking about…the traveling photographers, the non-profit workers, and that one person who barely tried but was handed your dream job. We measure our success and fulfillment to those around us without ever thinking we too have these opportunities. We can volunteer for non-profit organizations and take pictures during our next vacation. Remember, you may have the life that someone else uses in their personal comparisons.
3. Make time.
Work takes the majority of our time but not all. Most have evenings and weekends for personal use. Guess what! We get to choose how we spend that time! Learn how to manage your time in such a way that you are making time to do the things you love. When I was wanting to be a writer but had not yet taken the plunge, I made time to edit college essays, resumes, and started a blog! I knew this was something I loved and a way to develop editing skills that may not have come as naturally as the writing skills.
What do you need to make more time to do in your life to honor your dreams outside of your day to day job? Toss out the excuses and take control of your time.
4. Take a trip.
Traveling is a fulfilling experience. For some, it means getting on a plane to head halfway around the world. To others, it means hopping in the car and going into the city for a day trip. There are lots of different ways to travel, but one thing remains true…travel changes our perspective. Maybe we need to learn gratitude by seeing other people's struggles, or maybe we need to discover how other people find happiness. The time away from our jobs combined with a new experience makes traveling a valuable step to fulfillment.
5. Give back.
Not everyone who is unfulfilled is in a low paying job. Some spend their entire career working to get to the “top,” and they find themselves feeling unfilled once they arrive. At the top, there is wealth. Maybe you don't enjoy your job, but you can use your money to give back to others. With the way the world works, the people at the “bottom” rely on the generosity of the people at the “top.” Be a generous person.
We have the opportunity to create our own happiness. What are you creating?