Is It the Job?
One of my teachers and coach, Michael Neill, published a post this week that reminded me of a conversation I had with hubby a few months ago.
Both the post and the exchange illustrate for me, in their different ways, that when we look outside for engagement, when we think it’s the job or the career or the activities we do that will create fulfilment and allow us to direct our passions and energies, then we’re missing out on both an understanding of where engagement and fulfilment come from, and we’re also missing out on a whole host of fulfilling and life-affirming things we could be doing in any moment of any day.
Hubby and I were talking about a colleague of his who’d taken periods of sick leave and was now taking early retirement from a job he hated.
I would hate it too,
He has a terrible job. I couldn’t do it.
I raised an eyebrow (at least in my imagination ;) ), and I responded,
I’m sure some people would say the same thing about some of the jobs you’ve had.
(Hubby has a job description that, even if you understood it, would most likely put you to sleep. I remember another exchange with a friend where she whispered to me one day ‘does he have one of those jobs we’re not allowed to talk about?’ ‘Not at all,’ I replied, ‘its just so boring we don’t like to talk about it.’)
He looked surprised,
Oh but all my jobs have been fantastic!
Or Is it Something in Us?
Hubby’s close to what would be a normal retirement age (not that he plans on retiring) so he’s got a few decades of work under his belt.
How is it possible, in a normal career, spanning decades, for every single job to be ‘fantastic’?
I know for sure that is isn’t about the job.
No job, no matter how much you love it, is always fun and games. There’s always the equivalent of paperwork, accounting, difficult conversations, the ‘cleaning the toilet’ of work as hubby calls it — just get on with it and don’t think too hard about what you’re doing.
Of course, hindsight also helps — we can all look back and experience something that we hated at the time as ‘character-building’ or we can laugh at how we took it so seriously and if only we’d known then what we know now.
Yep, distance can definitely be a contributing factor to enjoyment.
What hubby, in his innocence, and Michael, in his wisdom, are both pointing to though is something way beyond the ‘form’ of anything we do, and, thankfully, is ever-present in us, so we can access it in any moment.
What if it’s possible that we can engage with, and enjoy, the experience of everything that we do — or at least savour the fact that we are experiencing it, even if we decide it’s not for us and we’re going to make a (job / life / relationship) change.
What if the very nature of fulfilment resides within us, rather than coming from the thing we are focusing our attention on? It looks to me as if they’re both pointing to the fact that what actually lights us up is somewhere way beyond our ideas and assumptions about what we think will make us happy.
Which is great news — because it means that, if we harness the wisdom that is deeper than any intellectual understanding, with the love and connection for what we are doing in any moment, and the people we do it with, then a joyful and fulfilling experience will most likely emerge all by itself.
No matter the job description.
If you’re interested in making a difference with what you do and being your best self at work and at home, you can read more and download free courses here.