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Posts Tagged ‘Stanford University’

There are things we need to survive. Things like shelter, food, love. Without those three things we really cannot survive.

As I was watching and listening to a video of Steve Jobs, in his commencement speech at Stanford University in 2005, I had a friends face in my mind, when he said:

“sometimes life’s going to hit you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love … Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work; and the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”

Don’t settle …

My friend does her job well. She rarely calls in sick, fulfills all of the requirements of her position, and works many hours beyond the expectations of her employers. Her job helps to give her shelter and food … it helps to meet her needs to survive, but, in her position she does not thrive. Oh, in the beginning her job was something she loved, it did satisfy her, she did thrive. But over time her passion for her position decreased, and it became ‘just a job’.

One of the best pieces of advise I ever got was from a man in his seventies who said, “I always told our kids that if they were not happy in their job, it was time to find a new one. A person does no good to himself, or to the company they work for if they don’t love what they are doing.” This man was not one who jumped from job to job, career to career, but he did make a handful of workplace changes over the years, and was in the twilight of life, able to say he loved every job he had.

As a child growing up, my dad worked as an orderly, from mid afternoon until late at night. He did not love his work. It was not until he was in his fifties that he began a job that he loved, that he did not feel he was ‘settling’ in order to do it. He knew he loved it, he wanted to spend more time, more energy to do his job better, and he was very successful.

I love my job, but when that love affair starts to be more about surviving than thriving, I will know it is time to look around and see what might be around the next corner.

I wish, for my friend, that you too could thrive in your work.

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