What Did I Learn? (Part 1)
I received so many important thoughts from subscribers over the past two weeks! For those of you who did not read the previous two issues of the Pinnacle Perspective, here are the questions that I asked:
(From issue 34):
- Who has been the greatest source of inspiration for you in your life?
- What has been the most meaningful experience in your life?
- What have you done for someone else that has caused you to feel very good about yourself?
(From issue 35):
If you knew that you had only a few weeks left to live . . .
- Would you lead your life differently?
- What would you say to your family and friends?
- What do you think they would want to say to you? (You might even ask a few of them this question!)
- What aspects of your life would you give more attention to?
- What aspects of your life would you accord less importance to than you do now?
Each of those questions is important in its own right. I suspect that your responses to the questions included a wide variety of topics. However, do you know what was topic was ”mysteriously” absent from all of the responses? I’ll bet you could guess. The answer is: “work.” It’s hard to believe, but the following responses just did not make it into my box:
“I would like to spend more time working. In fact, I would feel better about myself if I worked harder.”
“I want to spend less time with my family and more time working.”
“If I only had a few weeks to live, I would throw myself into my work.”
“The most influential person in my life was my boss.” (E-gads, my own crack staff will be reading this article!)
I did, however, receive many responses indicating that they would not get mired down in the details of their job. People also reflected on how they spent less time with their family and friends than they would if they knew that they only had a few weeks to live.
You may think that I am about to give you the standard lecture about the importance of giving your loved ones more attention than your job. Actually, I am not. I also will spare you the textbook advice that, at the end of your life, you will feel more satisfaction if you have placed your family ahead of your work on the list of your priorities in life.
Instead, what I would like to suggest is that you consider the meaning that your work adds or does not add to your life. Like it or not, work constitutes a large part of our waking hours each week. Unfortunately, many people “just fill the time” with work. Others view their work as a means to fund the other aspects of their lives. They do not believe that it matters how that they support themselves, only that they manage to do so. Still others do meaningful work, but they long to do something else that they believe will give their lives greater meaning. As a member of that third category, I can tell you that I spent many years longing to broaden the scope of my practice to include an area through which I could positively impact the lives of others. Fortunately, I was able to seize the opportunity to do so after the birth of my first child!
If you fall into any of the above three categories, I strongly suggest that you make changes to your job or career immediately! Every job can be meaningful. For example, if you serve coffee to over-worked individuals each morning, think about just how much your attitude, and the product that you serve, can brighten up the start of someone’s day. A career can also include facets that add meaning to your life. Consider all of the people that you encounter during the course of your workday who could benefit from your positive attitude!
Let’s take the questions that I asked you to consider and revise them slightly:
- How do you think your family and friends feel about your chosen career?
- What inspiration has your employer/employee(s) given to you during the past year?
- What has been the most meaningful experience you have had in the course of your job or career?
- What have you done for someone who you encountered through your job that has caused you to feel very good about yourself?
- How could you change your job so that it would add meaning to your life?
- How can you balance work and other aspects of your life so that you look forward to doing your job?
- How could you bring your family and friends into the excitement and meaning that you feel about your work?
Take time today to find the meaning in your job, or decide to make your job more meaningful as soon as possible!
andar�) o����t there are a few other issues that I would like you to first consider in the upcoming weeks.