When Work Doesn't Feel Like Work: 6 Signs You Are Doing What You Love

by Paul Hudson

Everyone is looking for the ultimate happiness – that feeling of all the pieces fitting together perfectly at the very same time. Such happiness is possible. However, it is but possible in a fleeting moment. Such a happy state only exists when happiness is paired with joy and excitement.

People can’t always be joyful and excited, but this doesn’t mean that we can’t always be happy – we may not always be climaxing, but that doesn’t mean that life can’t feel good on a regular basis.

Our happiness is dependent on several aspects, or areas, of our lives. One of the biggest being the work that we do for a living. Sure, not all of us work for a living, but most of us do and consider it a very important part of our lives. Rightfully so I might add, seeing as how the average person spends at least 40 hours a week working (if employed in the US). It’s fair to conclude, therefore, that it is pertinent to enjoy the work that we do.

The more that we enjoy it, the happier our lives will be. This, however, doesn’t mean that every moment of work is supposed to be incredibly enjoyable – work is still work. As humans we will always prefer to do less. Yet, in the world that we live in, we need to work to support ourselves and to innovate. Here are a few signs that you are on the right track:

1. You can no longer distinguish between work and play.

This is the clearest sign that you really do love doing what you’re doing. It’s impossible to love your work if you see it as such, if you distinguish it from the rest of your life. Work shouldn’t be work – it should be something that you really enjoy doing that you happen to get paid to do, something that you’d be doing whether or not you got paid for it. If you would do what you’re doing if you didn’t need to make money, would you still do it? If yes then you may be onto something.

2. There never seems like there are enough hours in the day, but you nevertheless feel a sense of accomplishment.

The more we love what we do, the more passionate we tend to become. The more passionate we become, the more time we spend working. The more hours we spend working, the fewer hours we have to do the other things in our lives that need doing. We’re bound to run out of time when we love what we do because we’re likely to lose track of time while doing it. Nevertheless, we still feel a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction at the end of the day. Sometimes mixed in with a hint of panic when our obsession gets the better of us.

3. You’re excited to get your day started almost on a daily basis.

Almost on a daily basis – there will be days that you won’t want to go to work. Our lives are made up of several very important areas as well as countless less-than-important areas that will, from time to time, be confused as areas of importance. All these areas must be attended to in order to stay happy.

The problem is that when things aren’t going well in one area, it affects our mood and therefore affects other areas in of our lives. However, you will find getting up and out of bed easier than usual when you’re doing what you love. Getting up won’t seem like such a hassle because you’ll be looking forward to the tasks ahead of you.

4. Life, in general, feels pretty damn good.

You’re smiling more often than you’re frowning. You’re more clear-minded and positive thinking. You see the beauty and possibility in more things. Life feels good because it is good. Maybe not all good, but certainly not bad. Being content with one’s life is a very good sign that you are doing what you ought to be doing.

Contentedness is the backbone of happiness. Without contentedness, there is no happiness. Contentedness basically turns to happiness when sprinkled with a bit of joy and excitement.

5. You consider yourself one of the luckiest people in the world.

It’s a good thing too, because you are. There are plenty of people out there who one would say were incredibly lucky to be living the life that they are living. Yet, they don’t see it that way. Why? Because although they may be living a life that some, even most, would deem ideal, the fact is that they aren’t happy.

They don’t love the work that they do and feel a gap in their lives needing to be filled. It’s when you consider yourself to be incredibly lucky to be in your position that you know for a fact that you are doing exactly what you should be doing.

6. You can’t wait to finish whatever it is that you’re working on, but only so that you can start on your next project.

People that love what they do look forward more to the work itself than the end result. Surely, they are interested in the end result of their labor, what it means and its purpose, but they aren’t rushing to get to that finish line. If you love what you do, you enjoy the doing part – not the finishing part.

If you’re looking more forward to finishing than you are to be doing, then you’re probably not doing what you should be doing. Even if you are looking forward to finishing a certain project, it’s only so that you can get started on enjoying the next one.

Not "finishing" the next one, but looking forward to the actual work the next project involves. If you live to do what you do then you are living very well. Congratulations.

Photo credit: Jobs

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