"Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string."
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Day 22 Assignment: Enthusiasm by Mars Dorian
“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” is a great line from Emerson. If there’s no enthusiasm in what you do, it won’t be remarkable and certainly won’t connect with people on an emotional basis. But, if you put that magic energy into all of your work, you can create something that touches people on a deeper level. How can you bring MORE enthusiasm into your work? What do you have to think or believe about your work to be totally excited about it? Answer it now.
First, I would have to say that if you aren't enthusiastic about what you're doing, you need to question whether or not you should be doing it at all.
Granted, there are some things that we do out of responsibility... little details and obligations in life that aren't exactly exciting. But, when it comes to the way we choose to spend our time -- whether it's a line of work or our leisure time -- why would you do something you aren't enthusiastic about? What a waste of time that would be!
Now, it could be that you were enthusiastic about your work or an activity in the past, but you just aren't anymore. If that's the case, there are a few possibilities: maybe you have changed, maybe the work or environment has changed, or maybe the "new" has worn off.
Let's face it, we do change -- or at least I hope you change! We should be constantly growing and changing. Lack of change leads to stagnation. (Think of a stagnant pond vs. a babbling creek.) Which would you rather be? The thing is that when we change we sometimes outgrow the things we used to find exciting, unless, of course, they continue to change and develop as well. If you are facing this in a job, it might be worthwhile to talk to your boss about ways that you could change your position and duties in order to make the job more interesting again and to help you become a more valuable asset. If that can't happen, it may be time to move on.
Sometimes you may still like what you do, but maybe the environment itself has changed. Sometimes a company merger, a new supervisor or co-worker, or a move to a new location will have an effect on your enthusiasm. You may or may not be able to recover. If its a co-worker or supervisor that you are worked up over, talk to that person and see if you can develop a better working relationship. If its a change in location, what was it about the old location you preferred, and can you somehow incorporate some elements of that into your current environment to give you that shot of enthusiasm you need?
If boredom has set in, sometimes you can make simple and subtle changes to your environment or routine that will break up the monotony and make things interesting again.
Brother Lawrence was well know for serving and making every act an act of worship -- even washing dishes. Sometimes just a change in our mental perspective is what's needed. The bible tells us to do everything as if we were doing it for the Lord. Maybe you don't have the most interesting and varied job in the world, but if you made every aspect of your job an act of worship, would that change your attitude and the quality of work you do?
I know that for me, my work has to have meaning. I have to feel as though I'm providing a valuable service, or it isn't worth my time. If you work a regular job, I think that's essential. After all, do you really want to spend that much of your life being miserable? Almost 1/4 of your life is spent at work. If you don't get up most mornings not just glad to have A job, but to have YOUR job, then you truly need to consider getting a different job. Life is too short. I can't imagine spending 1/4 of my life being unhappy, or doing something that I don't enjoy.
We can be enthusiastic and accomplish great things in our lives and the lives of others, or we can simply exist and live out our lives in mediocrity. Which will you choose? After all, it is a choice. And sometimes a subtle shift in our perception is all it takes to make the difference.