How to do the things you love

This Management Monday, let’s look at managing interests

There is a lot more to finding happiness than earning a big paycheck. You may have noticed that some people seem extremely fulfilled in life while others seem unmotivated and down. Further investigation will show that a large majority of the time, happy individuals aren’t necessarily rich or famous; they are just motivated. They’ve taken the time to understand their personalities and be themselves.

Shane Atchison illustrates this concept well in his LinkedIn article “My Best Mistake, I quit my dream job.” Atchison, CEO of POSSIBLE, shares that his whole life, he dreamed of becoming a psychologist and working with children. He earned his degree and even secured his dream job just after graduation. Yet two weeks into the position, he quit his job. His family and friends were stunned. Atchison had taken an interest in internet technology, a field in its infancy to which Atchison found himself drawn to.   After years in the industry (which he loves to this day) Atchison finally realized he still had a yearning for his “dream job”.  He began volunteering with a special needs organization, where he still fulfills his love for psychology and works with children.

The point to focus on is that like many people, Atchison has a variety of interests which keep him motivated in life. His ability to decipher what was most motivating for him propelled him into a happy career while he kept a balance with his internal desire and true self. Maybe the most memorable part of his story is his quote “perhaps the most important thing to remember about giving up your big dream is that you may not be giving it up at all.”

So here are some quick tips to keep you doing the things you love:

  1. Make a list of what types of activities you love most. Some examples might be golf, writing, or teaching.
  2. Consider which activity keeps you stimulated the most. Which activity do you always thrive on, even in your free time? Perhaps that is a good activity for you to be doing at work.
  3. In planning your career and making job choices, pursue not only a field of interest, but operations within that field that involve activities which play off of your personality and other assets.
  4. Don’t expect to love every minute of your job, just because it is your dream job. If you remember that all good results are a derivative of time, you will find yourself happy with your position more often than not.
  5. Were you torn between becoming a writer or a computer programmer? Learn about your other interests on the side and maintain a blog or freelance. Depending on your interests, there may even be a job where you can utilize both skills.
  6. If you work a job you love but something is still missing, like Shane Atchinson, maybe you can volunteer in the community to be involved with another field of interest or utilize additional skills you love.
  7. Maybe you’re burnt out in one career and ready for a career change. Don’t be afraid to take a leap and make a change, but seek professional guidance during the transition, for strong goal assessment, planning and guidance, because there is no such thing as a natural.

 

The reality is each individual ticks in a very unique way. No one person thrives on the same variety of interests and emotions. So make your life your own and do what you love. It is important to do the things you love, but only you can make it a WIN.