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"I'm Living the Dream." (Really?)

Man deciding if happy with job, living the dream?

Are you living the dream? It’s amazing how many people are “living the dream” while doing their job on a daily basis. In the past week, at least a half dozen people told me they were “living the dream,” when I asked how they were doing. Their facial expressions betrayed them, saying the exact opposite. They looked unexcited and even bored with what they were doing, the same job day in and day out.

Are You Really "Living the Dream?"

If you’re tempted to say you’re “living the dream” about your job, it’s time to put excitement back into your job or career.

Remember when you were excited about going to work, looking forward to new challenges and opportunities? You were energized in the morning, and stayed energized all day. One way to reignite your enthusiasm is to remember why you took the job. Recall why you were motivated.

Write it down. Revisit it daily.

Find ways to make your job more enjoyable.

What has changed since you started your job? You may have changed. Your likes, dislikes, needs, and goals may have changed. The work environment, including ownership, management, and fellow workers may have changed. Changes in your personal life may be a factor. List changes you can identify, and assess how they may be affecting your attitude and ability to do and enjoy your job.

Take steps such as the following to address the changes in a constructive way.

  • Be proactive. Ask for changes in your job or position.

  • Seek new and different responsibilities, opportunities to grow personally and financially. Be creative.

  • Find ways to make your job more enjoyable, more fun.

  • Be sociable. Expand your social network where you work. It could also help you advance.

  • At the “nuts-and-bolts” level, change your routine and schedule if possible. Make sure you take your earned vacation days. You earned the time off and the opportunity to re-energize yourself.

  • Revisit the mission of the organization for which you work.

  • Think of the role you play in how they accomplish their mission, how they serve customers.

  • See yourself as part of a larger purpose.

  • Be willing to help your fellow workers. Volunteer to mentor.

By sharing your expertise, you will increase your value. Acknowledge and be thankful for recognition of your efforts. Reward yourself now and then for doing a good job.

Make Work a Source of Joy

Work can be a great source of satisfaction and fulfillment personally, financially, and yes, spiritually. Whether you’re working with your hands, sitting at a computer, or driving from town to town as a salesperson, the work you do can be a great source of joy if approached with a joyful spirit.

Prayerfully enter each day with anticipation. Keep the daily ups and downs in perspective. Obediently offer up an honest day’s work to the Lord. Praise and thank him for the opportunities he’s given you.

Additional reading:

Listen to God's Words

May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us—yes, establish the work of our hands. (Psalm 90:17)

So, I saw that there is nothing better for a person than to enjoy their work, because that is their lot. For who can bring them to see what will happen after them? (Ecclesiastes 3:22)

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters. (Colossians 3:23)

Also read: Psalm 128:2, Ecclesiastes 9:10, Hebrews 6:10

In the Words of Others

“To love what you do and feel that it matters---how could anything be more fun?” Katherine Graham

“The secret of joy in work is contained in one word---excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it.” Pearl S. Buck

“Work is love made visible. And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy.” Kahil Gibran

Think About It

  • Recall when you began your current job. Describe the feelings you had when you first started. Describe your current feelings. If your feelings about the job have changed, describe how and explore why. Make a list. How can you address the changes?

  • Do you see yourself as part of your organization’s success, or do you feel you’re just a number? How can you change that?

  • Do you see each day as an opportunity to perform an honest day’s work as an offering of praise and thanksgiving to the Lord?

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