Lust For Life

Affaires Plus – June 1999
By Nicole Côté

Passion and motivation are what make the difference between «doing your job» and devoting yourself to your work.

The most beautiful example of a motivated person is a lover. When we’re in love, we are very focused on our objective. We think about it, we dream about it, we are totally committed, we see the world through rose coloured glasses and we feel we can take on anything. It’s a state of grace.

In the corporate world, we rarely associate work with love and enjoyment. We find it almost normal that some people hang onto the security to of a job they hate, while others just mark time waiting for their retirement or accept suffering because someone makes them an offer they can’t refuse.

Leading a professional life without passion is a little like getting married without being in love. Certainly a marriage of convenience can be practical, but settling for this type of arrangement could mean resigning oneself to a life without flavour or colour. And when the hard times come, the pressure may be hard to take and imagination may lack. In the long run, a feeling of dissatisfaction and irritation sets in. One of my girlfriends joke that when we are not attracted to a  man, he is never handsome or intelligent or rich enough for us.

The same is true of work. People who hate their jobs are never happy with their pay or working conditions. They spend their lives complaining and negotiating. As time goes by, the lack of a sacred fire turns them lukewarm. The light inside them flickers and goes out, and they themselves become flames snuffers. The toll of not having fun means they are no longer fun.

There are many reasons to love one’s work. The first is to love what we do and love to be passionate about our occupation. The second is to love the people we work with, the location and the type of industry in which we earn our living. Finally, we can also enjoy the type of clients we do business with.

If more than one of these elements are missing, if you’re beginning to feel world-weary, and if you hear yourself saying « You can’t have everything in life », or « There are people worse off then I am », you are no doubt lacking in passion. It could be a passing phase. But if you’ve lost this state of grace, you’ll have to do something about it.

To rekindle passion

If you flame is flickering and you wish to rekindle passion and enjoyment, here are some suggestions.

♣    Tell yourself you deserve to  have more and allow yourself to dream.
♣    Be convinced that if your subconscious is sending you desires and ideas, it is because you have what it takes to make them come true.
♣    Thing back to things that were spontaneous and natural for you, things you have always been passionate about and the things that suit you best.
♣    Surround yourself with stimulating, positive, vibrant people and avoid people who are cynical, dispirited and vindictive.
♣    Spread your wings. Check out what is going on elsewhere. Take a trip or take courses outside your field.
♣    Speak to the people around you about your life improvement plan.
♣    Be receptive to new ideas. When opportunities arise, seize the day!

If you must hold back

The may be reasons – such as an obligation, a critical situation or a lack of confidence on your part – that compel you  to keep a job that does not satisfy you completely. Here are some tips for maintaining your vitality and interest.

♣    Don’t sit on the fence. Take a stand once and for all. Stop wondering whether you should leave. Stay.
♣    Do what you must in order to love what you do. Forget about the drawbacks and focus on the advantages of your situation.
♣    Invest in your workplace. Work at improving it.
♣    Look after our personal development. Work on your image. Be pleasant with others.
♣    Take on little projects, evaluate your results, and reward yourself accordingly.

When we speak of passion, there is good and bad news. The bad news is that the fire must constantly be tended in order to keep it alive. The good news is that the fire is magical. When kept alive, it makes all manner of wonders possible.