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Why you are NOT in love with your job
- Part 2
by Misha Lyuve

Apr 21, 2013

This is a continuation of my previous post Why you are NOT in love with your job – start there.

4. You don’t care. You treat people as temporary supporting characters in a movie where you are a protagonist.  You are not interested in them as fellow humans. What really makes their heart beat? Or ache? You ask “how are you”, but it is not your intention to know how they are. It is this surface of politeness that makes your experience at work lack humanity. And how can one be in love with that?

5. You think your job owes you something.  It should pay you more, give you satisfaction and provide you with work-life balance. You really think that it owes you that. You even have a list and you are waiting. Some of you might’ve not even bothered to ask for what you want. Or you asked, and now pissed that it’s not there. You cannot be entitled and resentful, and be in love with your job at the same time.

6. You are ok with mediocrity. You made compromises; each of them at the moment could seem convenient or necessary, but together they don’t leave you much breathing room. You indefinitely put off the dreams you had. You give a few bucks for a disaster relief, but for the most part the world’s problems are not your problems; they are too big and too removed. Thus you don’t see your job, your skills and your network as an opportunity to do something big, outrageous and difference making. You cannot be in love with your job if it is just means to an end.

7. You gave up. You gave up on the idea that you can be in love with your job. You tried changing companies, and maybe not once. You might’ve even tried changing your career all together. But you are in the same place. You have a good explanation of carefully choreographed reasons that make it logical and convincing. Is it the children? The mortgage? If only you knew that one thing you are destined to do. Or had more money. Or if only you were a genius like that writer, composer or businessperson. It is impossible to be in love with something you have given up on.

This is a place to start an inquiry. The journey begins with saying the truth.

Why you are NOT in love with your job by Misha Lyuve

Apr 14, 2013

Since you are reading this, I am assuming that at a minimum, some place, even a tiny bit, you are not in love with your job. You might keep it as a big secret from everyone. And maybe even from yourself. Or your friends might’ve developed calluses in their ears listening to your complaints. Or you just turned off that part of self all together, disconnected from it, shut it down – because what’s the point.

Whatever the story is, you will most likely discover that one or more of the following applies to you:

1. You are afraid. And you might not be aware that you are afraid. The shivers on your back when you get an unanticipated call from your boss. The increased heart rate when threatened by a customer complaint. You are scared of your coworkers and even people that report to you. You are terrified of being fired, or that you will not get a raise or a promotion. The fear that your life will be like this all the time. Fear is your driving force. It runs in your veins. All the time. You cannot be in love with your job if fear runs your life.

2. You hide. Meaning that you show only a partial self at work.  You developed a “work personality” that cuts out the other aspects of you that you find inconvenient or not professional or not relevant. You don’t talk about what’s important in your life. You share your gripes, but not your passions. While you think that you have “good” reasons to live a double life, it is impossible to be in love with your job, not being able to express a full self.

3. You don’t think it matters. You believe that this particular moment of your life doesn’t really carry that much importance. But some time not now it will all work out – when you find your “dream job” or you retire or win a lottery, then you will be the person you want to be and live the life that you want to live.  But for now, it’s just a job, a means to an end. You cannot be in love with your job, if you think that right now doesn’t matter.

This is enough for now.  Mull it over… To be continued in part 2.

The mystery of your Potential by Misha Lyuve

Mar 23, 2013

How do you know what you are capable of? Don’t even argue with me here – you have no idea. Our own potential is a mystery. It might show signs of itself here and there. But its true abundance can only be revealed in a committed courageous exploration.

If you really want to appreciate an idea of potential – look at children: their development process is all about uncovering their potential. And there is nothing more moving for their parents than seeing fruits of that – whether it is a first step, a good grade or a musical performance.

Adults, on the other hand, often either stop thinking about their own potential or narrow it down to one specific area, like career for instance. You have to look for yourself – is it that you are too tired? Busy? Not excited? Lost hope?

Let’s acknowledge this truthfully – there is something tragic about potential that is not being realized… It is like something taken away from oneself, others and the whole world – without hope to find out what it could’ve been.

Again, the easiest way to see that tragedy of the unrealized potential is by looking at children. When I was in Haiti (by the way, make sure you don’t miss my Joy of Haiti), we visited an orphanage. There was a room of 30 cribs with little people in them. It was a “better” orphanage (if any derivation of “good” could ever stand next to “orphanage”), the kids were at minimum fed and cleaned. But they spent all day lying in the cribs by themselves.  Every moment pushed them one step back in their development. It was a cemetery of potential. Heartbreaking. Tragic.

One could explain this by poverty, the recent earthquake, really nasty circumstances and that children require a loving adult to facilitate their development. But when you look at your own life – is there really any meaningful excuse for not living fully to your potential?

The Job offer you’ve been waiting for by Misha Lyuve

Feb 22, 2013
And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy.

-Khalil Gibran “The Prophet”

Recently I made a recommendation to read Erich Fromm’s “The Art of Loving” daily out loud to yourself or your love interest. Fromm talks about misconceptions of love in the modern culture: love is perceived as an irrational phenomenon that one “falls into” once the “right” object is found – versus a human capacity that can be developed and brought into an art form.

That made me think about jobs and careers. By virtue of my work, volunteer activities and social endeavors, I am connected to thousands of people. I hear a lot “I am not in the right job”, “my career is not meaningful”, “this is not it, but I don’t know what I should be doing.” I’ve heard this from a wide crowd of very capable and many successful people. All these statements usually carry a taste of resignation – it sounds like this issue has been lingering with them for a while with no resolution.

Underneath that resignation there is a belief that some place there should be this perfect job for them to “fall into” that will keep them satisfied forever. This belief is much similar to our misconceptions of romantic love described by Fromm.

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Now here is the good news. I think I discovered this meaningful satisfying job you’ve been searching for ages. They are accepting applications as we speak. Here is a description of The Job’s main responsibilities:

1. be great at all times
2. be responsible for people around you living great lives
3. leave the world today better than it was yesterday

You can do The Job at all times anywhere, whether you sit in a cubicle or a corner office, work for a corporation or self, standing in line in Starbucks or putting your kids to bed, taking out the garbage or having a drink at a party.

Congratulations! Your application has been accepted; you are a perfect candidate for The Job. You could start immediately; however, before you make a commitment to it, I suggest a one-day trial. Here are the rules:

- Don’t change a single thing in you routine
- Do The Job
- Report results to me

Are you in?

If you find The Job rewarding, please share what happened – don’t forget that this is a part of The Job. If you think that you are failing or need support in your new Job – talk to me, so I can do my Job.