There are endless quotes about the working life — quotes from wildly successful entrepreneurs, authors, philosophers, saints and activists.
Some of my favorites are from those who didn’t attain much monetary wealth in their lifetimes, but held the invaluable vision of what kind of work creates a happier life.
“Work without love is slavery.” – Mother Theresa “I don’t like work—no man does—but I like what is in the work—the chance to find yourself. Your own reality—for yourself not for others…” – Joseph Conrad “Your purpose in life is to find your purpose and give your whole heart and soul to it.” – Gautama Buddha
How many of us can say we have discovered our purposes or have found ourselves through our work? I think it’s safe to say the majority of people seek to find careers that make them feel as happy and fulfilled as possible.
For some people, it comes quickly and easily, while for others, it can take almost a lifetime of searching.
Until then, we all, of course, have to work to make a living. That means taking jobs we don’t necessarily love and weekdays spent living for the weekend. I always find myself thinking there has to be an easier way than the system we have set up for ourselves.
If there’s no way to beat the system, there must be a way to work around it — or at least to be happier in our day-to-day routines.
Here are some tips for making your work week a little more manageable and, hopefully, more fulfilling before your weekend begins.
Getting up earlier
I love to get as much extra sleep as I can, even if that means hitting the snooze button five times before getting out of bed. The mornings I end up doing that, though, are usually the days I feel rushed.
When we leave less time for ourselves in the morning, we start our day in a panicked state – running out the door and arriving just in time for work.
Try to leave yourself more time in the mornings to do things that relax you and get you motivated.
It could be making yourself breakfast, reading the paper, going to the gym, doing yoga – whatever brings you peace of mind, practice doing those activities in the mornings to set the tone for the rest of your day.
Making plans for weeknights
I find that the days I have plans after work are the days I feel happier in general. It doesn’t have to be every night, but when I have something to look forward to in the mornings, it makes my day a little easier to get through.
Whether it’s cooking dinner at a friend’s place, going to see a movie or simply watching some of your favorite shows on Netflix, making plans for ordinary days helps to break the monotony of your schedule and freshen your routine.
Taking pride in your work
Even if you absolutely dread your job and can’t see yourself working there forever, it's still a good idea to start finding things in your current surroundings that you do enjoy.
Too many people do not enjoy their jobs and feel stuck in their positions. You always have a choice to change the things in your life that you don’t like.
Try to find something at your job that does resonate with you — it could be a coworker, an upcoming project or a skill you didn’t see yourself using but are actually really good at.
When you take pride in your work, even if you dislike it, you begin to shift your perception and open the doors to more opportunities in your life.
Find greatness in yourself and in your work; if you can’t find it in your current circumstances, then work just as hard to find that greatness elsewhere. Just as you strive for the perfect job, strive to find your perfect happiness.
"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, keep looking. Don’t settle." — Steve Jobs