Over the weekend I read a LinkedIn article about work life harmony. The author defined the term as having harmony between the two and not necessarily demanding two separate lives. This term arises after work-life balance has been a very hot topic as of recent. If you can be one with your work, then spillage into what happens outside ‘work hours’ would be far less stressful. Roger Ferguson states “The pursuit of ‘balance’ implies that work and life are two separate spheres competing for our attention in a zero-sum game. I prefer to see them as a continuum, flowing into and influencing one another.”
To shift away from work-life balance presents a topic I am eager to share and continue spreading. Work has become just that to many people. It is a job taking up many hours of the day in order to provide a paycheck to feed and house your loved ones. Individuals are not heading into the office or logging onto their remote systems because of their deep excitement. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are exceptions to this statement and people who have made the self-realization about what THEY want for the future. With that said for a great number there is a serious disconnect between how twenty-four hours in the day are spent and how we actually would like to be spending the time. The concept of work-life harmony would be much more easily achieved if we enjoyed the work we did.
Enjoyment VS Passion
What makes work enjoyable? This can be a loaded question because it varies depending upon the person. It could change based on experience level, industry, geography, ethnicity and many other factors. A couple more common are company culture, good co-workers, recognition and challenges. I would consider work enjoyment a more baseline concept. The next level after enjoyment is passion for your work. The difference between enjoyment and passion is the true investment of your being in the task you’re performing. For some this may translate into moments of flow or deep-down loyalty for the concepts and tasks required. When this level of commitment is present, the concept of work begins to fade into the distance. Spending precious time on projects or new initiatives does not seem taxing or difficult. I often describe this scenario as ‘getting lost in progress’.
How do I find my passion?
Recently I had a conversation with a close friend about uncovering what her true passion is. Some individuals discover early in life what they’re meant to do and others will take more time. Either way is fine, but you cannot stop digging until you find it. So, how do you uncover your burning desire? It all comes through experience and trying different activities. It may be saying yes to something new when you would normally hang back. Or a task outside of your comfort zone demanding the use of an alternative way of thinking. The shift in mindset will occur subconsciously. Suddenly, you will reflect on the day and realize you were experiencing moments of flow where your actions and mindset were all aligned in ‘harmony’.
The best way to grasp a revelation of this magnitude is being open and honest with yourself about your intrinsic emotions towards an activity or job. If you find your dedication lies within something society deems unpopular or unattractive, have the tenacity to go for it regardless. Time is the most delicate resource we possess, so display the self-awareness to recognize when you have stumbled upon your calling.
My personal recognition of this moment knocked me on the head just over a year ago when I was down and out after surgery. I have always been a writer. It comes natural to me and I enjoy engaging and displaying emotion through words. But, I never understood just how much value I could provide with my career experience and this talent. For someone who loves words, it can even be challenging for me sometimes to truly explain how I uncovered knowing this is my true passion and how ingrained it is in me. I have always enjoyed helping people, but when it comes to career coaching, my main goal is allowing others to discover their talents through accountability and self-awareness. There is no a greater achievement for me than watching the progression of these findings while clients come to consciously understand their personal and professional value. Please leave feedback or thoughts below about this topic! I would love to hear insight from others!
Rebecca Wagner - I actively find flow through unparalleled focus on propelling the careers of others. These posts will help to share my thought processes about development, self-awareness and growth.