Monday, September 3, 2012

Michael Josephson: It’s your job to enjoy your job

  Labor Day is, first and foremost, a day off from work to do something you enjoy, or to catch up on domestic tasks awaiting your attention.

  It’s also an ideal time to think about the role that work plays in your life.

  For some, work is a necessary evil. It’s doing what they have to do to make a decent living. For others, work is doing what they want to do to make good life.

  Teddy Roosevelt said, “Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” The writer George Sand put it another way: “Work is not a punishment; it’s a reward.”

  Comedian Johnny Carson said, “Never continue in a job you don’t enjoy. If you’re happy in what you’re doing, you’ll like yourself and you’ll have inner peace and more success than you could possibly have imagined.”

  According to W. H. Auden, three things are needed if people are to be happy in their work: “They must be fit for it, they must not do too much of it, and they must have a sense of success in it.” How does this apply to your job?

  If you can, find a way to make a living doing what you love. If you can’t, find a way to love something about how you make a living. Perhaps it’s enjoyment from relationships with co-workers and customers, pride and pleasure in serving others, or knowing that you are learning and growing. It might be the simple satisfaction you get from a job well done.

  The bottom line is, if you want to be happy it’s your job to enjoy your job.

  About the author: Michael Josephson is one of the nation’s most sought-after and quoted ethicists. Founder and president of Josephson Institute and its CHARACTER COUNTS! project, he has conducted programs for more than 100,000 leaders in government, business, education, sports, law enforcement, journalism, law, and the military. Mr. Josephson is also an award-winning radio commentator.

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