“It’s not just a Job….It’s an Adventure!”
That was a marketing tag line for the U.S. Navy a number of years ago. A frequent comment among my fellow sailors at the time was “Is this the job part or the adventure part?”
The whole of these two concepts came up to me recently in a conversation I had with a mentor of mine. We were going over his long career, and he mentioned that he felt he never really had a JOB. I asked him what he meant, and he shared that his idea of a job was something that you pretty much had to drag yourself to, every day, like it or not. There was not much life in it, and any correlation between it and the conviction that he was doing something good, right, and worthwhile was nonexistent, or, at best, extremely minimal. He felt that all that he had done never went to the level of being a JOB for him.
After about four hours of dialogue and catching up (I hadn’t seen him for over 4 years…), I drove away mulling over this idea.
Did I ever have a JOB, by this definition?
Granted, in every endeavor I’ve ever been part of, there have always been “less-than-desirable” bits. That seems to be the nature of working in a world that is imperfect. However, did I ever feel that I had to, as he said, drag myself to work, like it or not (not including days where I was tired, sick, or was having life problems that were not connected with my work or position….)? I had to admit to myself that I have….and more than one, I’m afraid to say.
So, I turn this reflective question to you: Not did you ever have a JOB, by this definition, but is your present situation a JOB? Is it life-giving to you? Does it support and draw you to your life’s mission (something like “Do Good“), or does it more resemble some kind of ostensible business goal (like “Sell more stuff” and “Make more money“)? Many call this your WHY…I’ve referred to this as your ONE THING. However you frame this in your life and work, it is that which can make life seem brighter, regardless of how early your alarm goes off every morning.
Not everyone can do much about it in every present circumstance, either. We are all aware of the balance required between the ONE THING and economic survival, sometimes. I was completely aware of this lack in my life when I was in the positions that were blocking the life-giving parts of the roles in which I served. However, being aware of the possibility of moving ever closer to the ONE THING (and keeping my focus on it when I was stuck in these other roles, so I could grow joy there, to some degree, too…) kept me moving to something better for me.
To the degree that I was able to manifest my ONE THING in these other roles, I was able to bring positive momentum and creativity to them. Sometimes the reason for being in them is to bring in the positivity and push the entropy further to the edges of the team, the project, and the company. Sometimes you realize it is time to move onto a more life-giving role, inside or outside of the organization.
You may never get to the place where all of what your doing has the ONE THING as its foundation, but you can be more aware, expand it where you are, keep evolving, focus, and move when it’s time to move (as one of my friends told me “Be aware of when this story is over, and a new story is beginning“).
I know this sounds somewhat fuzzy. I have written other articles about the ONE THING and its importance to you and your business. This is another, more emotionally intelligent (if you will…) approach to considering it.
Take a bit of time, look where you are and notice what gives you life. Move and grow toward that.
It is your ONE THING.