Remember our rule of thumb: The more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.
Resistance is experienced as fear; the degree of fear equates to the strength of Resistance. Therefore the more fear we feel about a specific enterprise, the more certain we can be that that enterprise is important to us and to the growth of our soul. That’s why we feel so much Resistance. If it meant nothing to us, there’d be no Resistance.
So if you’re paralyzed with fear, it’s a good sign. It shows you what you have to do.
– Steven Pressfield, The War of Art
Michael Hyatt’s blog has been a part of my daily trawl for a couple of years. When he started podcasting last year, I hesitated adding him because I was already a bit overwhelmed with all of the media I was taking in, and I didn’t think adding one more voice to the pile would gain me much. That might have been the right decision at the time, but when I cleaned house earlier this year, I intentionally made room to start listening to him. This post is inspired by his podcast from April 10 on the 3 components of job satisfaction.
There are three basic components to that must be present to be satisfied with your work. You must be competent at your work. You must have a market for your work. You must have passion for your work. With all three of those, you hit the sweet spot. That can be awesome.
Having only two of those, though, isn’t so awesome. Those zones will only lead to building frustration, and it makes your life a struggle.
There’s a difference, however, between those three zones that we have to recognize. The upper left and upper right zones (hobby and failure respectively) both have fairly short life-spans as a career. Staying in those zones is discouraged by a lack of income.
That bottom middle zone, though. Boredom? You can settle down and live there. Pretty comfortably, too. And most of us do.
And that’s where the trouble starts.
We lie to ourselves and say that work is supposed to be frustrating, and we can pursue our passion when we’re not at work, or after we retire. We medicate our discontent with spending, maybe even driving ourselves into debt while chasing happiness. And it only gets worse from there.
And I know. I live in the bottom middle. I’m very competent at my day job and boy howdy is there a market for my services, but I’ve got almost no passion for it. There’s a bunch of reasons why that is, but needless to say, I’ve topped out on my job growth. I’m stuck.
Most people understand that they enjoy greater success when they feel good about their activities. […] Helping your mind to know and believe that what you do professionally is good, noble, and worthwhile in itself helps to fuel your energies and propel your efforts.
If you feel really good about your profession, you sweep others along with you on the waves of your enthusiasm for what you do. You will become known for telling entertaining accounts of amusing incidents in your professional life. Stories about events in your business day can inspire others, and they will be moved by poignant interactions you relate. These natural and positive aspects of your public persona flow inevitably from feeling pride and passion for your work.
– Rabbi Daniel Lapin
In order for you to have a chance at real success, there has to be passion. And if you don’t have passion, it shows, because boredom isn’t inspiring or engaging. Either become more passionate about the work you’re doing, or begin the process of transitioning to something where you have all three components. It’s either that, or stay stuck.