Recently I’ve been struggling in my idea of enjoying work. Work has been non-stop both for my startup and my dayjob, and burnout just seems to be around the corner. I’ve been finding it difficult to enjoy doing my work. And it bothers me, both the struggle from the high demands of my work and my lack of enjoyment in it. The latter bothers me significantly more.
I tried to break down why I’m having the struggle to find the needed enjoyment. I found three things:
- I found that doing work is heavy when I feel that I’m working for someone else;
- I found that work limits my creative goals and creative juices when work is itemized;
- I found that work is drudging when I am doing it only for work’s sake: To deliver.
And from identifying theses causes to my problem, I tried to find how I usually enjoy my work. And this is what I found out: I believe that work should be enjoyable, that work should be creative, that work should fulfill my purpose. And this can be done by going back to basking in the fundamentals of my work, namely:
- The enjoyment of of building something;
- The enjoyment of learning new things;
- The enjoyment of solving problems;
- The enjoyment of making ideas into reality;
- The enjoyment of knowing that my work has a purpose.
From the identification of the problem, to its causes, to how my enjoyment can be attained, I can then work on the steps needed for me to arrive to my goal:
- Instead of focusing on the reality that I am working to make my clients happy, I can focus on how I can pour out my talents and energy to my craft.
- Instead of just focusing on the itemized deliverables, I can allocate some of my spare time to attend to my creative goals.
- Instead of of focusing on delivering, I can focus on how my work has an end-purpose, and what that end-purpose is, and then working on that end-purpose instead of just remaining on the side of delivering.
In writing this something of great importance came to mind. The words of Paul echo in my ear,
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. 25 For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality.” (Colossians 3:23-25)
We are serving the Lord Jesus Christ. And realizing this, not only in my mind but to my heart and my actions, is what brings purpose to my work.
And this is where joy is found.