Three Essentials for Career Satisfaction

The Job Is Yours!

If I were to propose that you spend eight hours a day in a place you don’t want to be, doing something you don’t believe in or care about, would you take me up on the offer? Probably not.

What if I said I’d pay you to do so? Unfortunately, many of us have accepted that offer. Money in exchange for misery. But do we really have a choice? I think so.

You’ve probably heard the saying: Do what you love and you’ll never work another day in your life. You might not believe it. But if not, answer me this: Why do some people count the years, weeks, days leading up to their retirement while others never really think about it?

A few years back my financial advisor asked me at what age I wanted to retire. He needed the data point so we could figure out how much money I might need. I found the question very hard to answer.

I’d never given much thought to retirement. I wanted to work as long as I was able to contribute. I love to work!

But I haven’t loved every job I’ve had. There will likely be something about any job you don’t enjoy. But when you stop caring, or you dread going to work, it’s time to do something else.

Every job change I’ve made throughout my career stemmed from my being disengaged, disillusioned, or simply not challenged enough.

What we tend to forget when it comes to work is that we have choices. We have the option to change jobs, companies, even careers. Since we spend at least one-third of our lives working, we should probably enjoy our work. Continue reading “Three Essentials for Career Satisfaction”

How to be a little happier. Three things you can do today.

There are many ways to define happiness. And you are free to choose your own definition.

Emotions such as anger, hurt and sadness are temporary. Happiness is bigger and happy3deeper. It doesn’t come from the outside. Happiness is an inside job.

Perspective certainly plays a role, but we can also take action to move us toward more happiness. Below are three steps to get you started. But first, a story.

A story that began 40 years ago

If you know anything about me at all, you know that I am a fanatic about the power of storytelling. So I’m going to tell you a story that started about 40 years ago, and still isn’t finished.

Once upon a time I was a college student and I had a boyfriend. He was older and wiser (at least in my eyes) and I admired him a great deal. One day the boyfriend asked me a seemingly simple question: what did I want out of life. I thought for a while, and then I answered, “I want to be happy.”

He scoffed and told me that was a pretty shallow answer. I tried to protest, explaining that he didn’t know what being happy meant to me. He wasn’t interested. I guess he’d already decided I was “shallow”.

I remember thinking that the concept of happiness seemed vast to me, not shallow: mysterious, certainly intangible, and I wasn’t at all sure how to go about getting it.

I don’t remember what came next. Maybe we went out for pizza. Continue reading “How to be a little happier. Three things you can do today.”

Take Five. Meditation for Busy People.

MeditationMeditation is good for us. The research is abundant and conclusive. Calming the mind has many benefits. Can you find 30 minutes in your day to meditate, to be totally present and mindful?

I heard that groan! I saw you roll your eyes! You’re busy. I get it. Me, too. So I’ll get right to the point.

It’s not just for monks

A lot of us, when we think of meditation, imagine monks in robes sitting on cushions among misty mountains somewhere in Tibet. Lucky them! Serenity. Quiet contemplation.

And, we think, it’s not something we will ever have time for! We have mortgages and jobs and families.

Another way to look at meditation

The truth is, there are many ways to meditate, as well as a myriad of books and experts to instruct you. But if you don’t have time to take a class or go on retreat, you can still meditate.

Meditation can be as simple as focused thinking. Total presence. Awareness. Right here. Right now. Here are some definitions of meditation that I like:

  • the act of giving your attention to only one thing
  • the act of remaining in a silent and calm state for a period of time
  • the process of quieting the mind

The five-minute meditation break

Continue reading “Take Five. Meditation for Busy People.”

Writing For Your Life. Why I Write Every Day.

LeftyI have always been a storyteller and a writer. But as a kid, growing up in a blue-collar family, I was not encouraged to pursue writing as a profession – starving artist theories and all. So I didn’t. But I never stopped writing and here’s why.

Storytelling is intrinsic to being human. Don’t believe it? Just eavesdrop on little children at play. They’re telling stories to their stuffed animals, making up families and roles and situations. It’s how children make sense of the world.

Imagine if you could make sense of your world! As an adult! How powerful would that be?

Daily writing helps you make sense of things.

You don’t have to make your living from writing, or any money at all for that matter. You don’t even have to share what you write with anyone. But if you are willing to put pen to paper on a daily basis, it will certainly make your life better.

Here’s what I know for sure about daily writing:

1. It helps you understand who you really are and what you truly care about.
2. You can use it any way you want: ritual, meditation, prayer, play.
3. It gives your mind a safe place to go and rest, ruminate, and create.
4. We tend to believe what we read, especially if we write it ourselves.

How to begin

This is my method. It will help you get started. Eventually you will know what works best for you. But first you must develop the discipline of daily writing. Continue reading “Writing For Your Life. Why I Write Every Day.”