How important is it for you to spend time doing things that you LOVE, or have FUN doing?
How much emphasis do you place on bringing JOY to your life?
Was it easy to answer these questions? Perhaps at first, but let’s look deeper.
Because I used the words love, fun and joy in these questions – you likely pictured your life overall. Perhaps you imagined images of travel, friends, family or hobbies that you enjoy.
Yet what happens when I invite you to answer those same questions with your work and professional responsibilities, tasks, projects and other “stuff” on your calendar in mind?
Did you get a different reaction?
If so, you’re not alone. So many of us have a difficult time attaching words like “love” “fun” or “joy” to our work, even if we genuinely enjoy what we do.
So if you had a similar experience, let’s try these exercises:
- Think about how you’ve carried out your professional/leadership responsibilities over this past week, and ask yourself how much of your time was spent doing things that you LOVED?
- Were there moments when you were having FUN?
- Were there moments of pure JOY?
What did you find?
As you reflect on your answers, I encourage you to notice if your professional situation is in alignment with the overall value you place on joy, fun and love.
Specifically, do you give the same value to joy and love in your work as you do when you think of your vacations, your hobbies, and your loved ones?
Is it in balance?
Is it Enough?
The tricky part is that often we make some assumptions when we’re thinking about what is “realistic” for us to expect from our work.
You’ve probably even heard the phrase: “It’s called work for a reason.”
Here’s some assumptions we often make that may sound familiar:
- “I can’t only do the parts of my job that I love! There’s work to be done!”
- “There are big challenges at work, and people are counting on me/us to figure them out. This is serious business.”
- “I won’t look or be viewed as being professional if I’m having fun.”
- Or even, “I’ll be able to have fun after these big work deadlines are completed.”
I recently coached a wonderful client via my Impact Intensive as she prepares to launch her own consulting business.
She is clear on her unique purpose, the life of joy she wants to curate, the impact she is meant to achieve, and she has created her elevated languaging to help her connect with those needing her expertise.
And yet… when she drafted the list of services she was going to offer, I heard her say:
“Let’s take this one out – it sounds too specific and there probably won’t be that many people who want it or know that they need it.”
So I asked her the following two questions:
- Of all the services you want to provide, which one on this list would give you the most joy?
- Which one do you believe creates the possibility for your client’s greatest success?
She replied to both questions immediately. “THAT one.”
I waited in silence for the awareness to sink in.
In what initially seemed like a sound and logical good business decision, she almost removed the one thing that she LOVES doing, that comes effortlessly to her, that creates the possibility for significant impact in organizations and their communities, and that other leaders in her industry don’t have the insight and experience to do!
If we’re not watching and staying self-aware, we can easily deprive ourselves of the joy and enjoyment that our work can bring.
As smart leaders, we generally know our values, yet we often make choices and take actions that completely PREVENT us from being in alignment with those values (and then blame the situation).
We accept that our dream scenarios are not possible.
We wear uniforms of best practices and industry dogmas.
If you have subscribed to my blog, you know my premise. What you do matters (when you do what you do, in that unique way that you do it, when you are fully in alignment with your purpose).
When I see leaders feeling joy and ease, having fun and loving what they are doing, it’s almost always a given that those are the same areas where they have the most value and impact to others. It’s an indication that they are showing up fully.
Build on that. Leverage that. Create the causes and conditions in your life so that you can experience it more frequently.
Loving what you do.
Use them all as litmus tests to ensure you are spending your time in areas where you have the most value. People are counting on you!
To your success (filled with fun, joy and Big Impact!),
P.S. – I love hearing from you! How are YOU making sure you are doing what you love? And if you’re feeling like you’re at a crossroads of some kind, and wanting to have more joy, fun and “success,” let’s get on the phone to see if I can be of help!