What do you bring to work with you each day? I pack my laptop bag, sometimes I’ll pack a lunch. Not going anywhere without the keys or my cell phone. Now that it’s a chilly 80 degrees here in Arizona, I’ll bring a sweater into the office. But there’s one intangible, crucial item that I do forget some days. I forget to bring my passion to work. Sounds funny, but it can make the greatest impact on your morale, productivity and if you’re an entrepreneur like I am, it makes all the difference with my team.
I recently facilitated a workshop on bringing your passion to work for the staff at Gammage Auditorium. We talked about how many people believe that we should feel inspired by work, that the work itself should create the passion. But that’s not true at all, we have to bring that passion with us. Think about when you’re first in love – you can’t sleep, you might not remember to eat, you want to tell everyone about that special person and be with that person as much as possible. What the person thinks and feels becomes the priority. Now, think about when the honeymoon is over – it happens in every relationship. You see little “quirks” that become major annoyances. You can’t believe that they don’t agree with you on some major opinions. You don’t feel quite the same need to be with them every moment of every day and the cracks begin to show. At this point you start wonder if you’ll always be together, and you decide if there is more good than bad, or maybe you decide to just see how it goes before moving on…
Our work is a lot like falling in love – when we begin a job or start a new business venture we’re excited to get started, meet new people, learn new things. Typically, this is something to celebrate. We want to tell everyone about our work, we feel energized and charged by our contribution and creation. Until some time goes by, and the one annoying co-worker is going on about their Friday night plans. AGAIN. And that client that’s always placing late orders asks you to pull some ridiculous strings. And the cracks begin to show, you feel drained, and you wonder how much longer you can do it… It’s then that it’s most important to tap into your passion, your drive, your curiosity and desire to contribute.
To get you moving in that direction (or business owners, this is a fun exercise to do with your team) answer the following questions. Try to answer in one word:
If I won an award at a talent show, it would be for ______________
I’ve never really shared this, but people might be surprised to find out that I love ______________
If I could do anything in my time off, I’d be ______________
My friends always call me when they need ______________
I lose all sense of time when I ______________
When I was a kid, all I wanted to do was ______________
Choose the most important of those words – typically it is a passion or something that we’re curious and enthusiastic about. Which one could you not live without? What is the feeling you get from that activity, that passion, that hobby?
Now, think about what aspects of your work incorporate the skills needed for that activity, that passion or that hobby – look for opportunities to engage in that kind of work each day, even if just for a few minutes. Be intentional about the passion you bring to work, just like you wouldn’t forget your laptop, your cell phone or your lunch. Try to be just as conscious about finding opportunities for what you LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!
What makes you feel passionate at work? How do you reverse a rough patch? Share your strategies in the comments 🙂