Why do so many of us settle for merely being “satisfied” with our jobs? Would you as willingly settle for a merely satisfactory life? How about your life partner – would you be okay with waking up, looking at the person on the opposite pillow, and thinking, “Yeah, that’ll do”?
Personally, I am definitely not one to live in a merely “satisfied” state. My all-time favorite quote from George Bernard Shaw is this:
“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”
I literally revisit this thought every day, to remind me that settling for living life at a satisfied level is not an option. To me, being no more than “satisfied” sounds like a life of stifling boredom; a life without challenge or passion – thus, a life without growth, which is no life at all.
To help me stay clear on what keeps me happy at work, and to stay on top of my personal growth within my career and work life on any given day, I consider the these 5 key questions on a regular basis:
1. If I could snap my fingers and be doing something completely different with my life, would I?
2. Do I have a sense of pride in my work? Do I see it as my craft?
3. Am I providing something of real value to other people through my work? As Gandhi so brilliantly said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Do I genuinely serve those for whom I work?
4. Am I passionate about the industry I am in?
5. Do I wake up motivated, anticipating and excited about the coming day’s challenges?
The day I answer “no” to any of the above, I’ll be reevaluating what I do and where I am.
I suggest you ask yourself these same questions, and answer them with your whole heart. If you hit a “no”, maybe you should consider reassessing your choices, and changing things up. The fact is, we have just the one life – and most of it is spent at work. If your work, your career, your contribution to whatever it is you do, doesn’t rate your love and full commitment – if, in short, you are merely “satisfied” – you deserve better. And so do your clients.
My prescription? Make some changes. Stick your neck out. Shake things up. We hunger for passion – the brevity of life itself urges us to live passionately -- but it’s on you to find that thing that you can be excited about, every day of your working life. If what you’re doing or where you’re doing it doesn’t get your engine going, fix that. It doesn’t get easier with time! Don’t settle for satisfied: A life fully lived is NOT a life where work is just somewhere you go every day to support your “real” live.