Hopefully, you have discovered work that you really can love. If not, then I would recommend that you quit reading and evaluate what you should be doing.
Here are a few questions to get the ball rolling.
- What are you skilled at? (I know lots of guys who would love to make a living playing baseball or basketball, but they lack the skills.)
- What are you the subject matter expert on? (Those same guys might make awesome trainers or coaches.)
- What do you love to do?
- What did you want to be when you were a child? (Oftentimes, some well-meaning adult told you that your dreams were foolish so you have been writing them off for years. What can you salvage from those dreams?)
Now that you re-discovered what you wanted to be, continue reading to learn how you can increase your dedication to work you’re passionate about.
How To Increase Your Dedication To Work You Already Love
1. Burn the boats.
For too many people, we come to a crossroads. We must choose between work that we love AND work that pays the bills. This is a tough one! You have bills to pay, kids to feed, and a reputation to think of. But what if you were able to live your dream?
I have read about guys that make a living taking other people fishing. Others make a living as tour guides in museums, or leading people on great adventures. These people are happy and feel complete. Maybe they could make more money in the board room or in the factory, but they will tell you that they would not really be alive.
If you want to really feel dedication to work, to ‘suck the marrow out of life’, then start out by burning the boats. Go for it! Chase your dream while you are still young enough to experience it. Now I don’t mean leave your family. But make a plan to be living your dream in a year, or maybe five.
Make the plan serious and start telling people about your vision. Actually make moves toward your efforts.
I am currently working with a man who dreams of owning a motorcycle shop. He knows bikes, but does not know business. So he is enrolling in business classes. He is still working at the job that he despises, but can endure for a bit longer because he is making moves in the direction of his motorcycle shop.
His plan includes a trigger to burn the boats. All plans need this portion, or you will always hide in the safety of the ordinary.
2. Focus on the portion of your work that you love.
Every job has portions that you will love and other parts that you must simply endure. How can you be dedicated even to those parts that you despise? This could be things like being responsible for tough conversations, or lots of paperwork.
Now this is going to seem like a crazy suggestion, but here it goes anyway: get unbelievably good at those tasks that you hate. I don’t like the paperwork side of my job, but I have worked to get good at it so that I can move through them quickly and get to the parts that I DO love.
Resolving conflict and difficult conversations are the dread of most days. But since I studied and became good at those tasks, I can push through them with competence and efficiency. With those out of the way, I can simply enjoy parts of the job that I do love, such as speaking, teaching, leading, and dreaming.
3. Surround yourself with others with similar passions.
Emotions are tricky. Some days, you will love your job, other days you won’t. What brings some balance is having friends that understand your industry. They can keep you from being depressed on the bad days.
Believe me: every profession on earth comes with bad days. Having those friends around you will keep you centered and on target. They can share in your victories. Part of my work is done with addiction recovery. I once became excited over a young lady that had just one week of clean and sober time.
Most people don’t get that excited over such things. But folks who knew her, knew that even a couple of days was a success. No one else could understand that kind of joy. Our dedication to work grows as we surround ourselves with others who have similar passions.
4. Become the subject matter expert.
Know more than anyone else in your industry. Read the books, study using videos, keep practicing, and soon, you will begin to outshine others around you. There is nothing like being the one that is called from other parts of the globe to answer questions and develop programs to help others do what you do.
Know every aspect of your industry. Find out why you dislike some theories and ideas in your field. Understand its ins and outs, as well as the concepts that are being developed for the future. Think through repercussions of different policies. Develop a vision for where things are going in your trade.
Put yourself out there as a subject matter expert. Ask to speak to service clubs and other leaders. Who could benefit from your expertise? Be creative. Be flexible and watch your dedication to work grow.
5. Attend a conference.
Wow! There is energy on the work that you love around every conference. Experts of all sizes and shapes are present to give you new levels of inspiration and motivation. New ideas flow from hallway and coffee meetings – and they have the potential to take over your thinking.
A conference allows you to get away from the day to day operations of your work so that you can simply immerse yourself in its vision.
I was once at a conference and there was a debate going on in one of the workshops. I listened to both sides. It was a very professional and educational experience. However, about halfway through, I started to wonder what I thought about the topic and came to the conclusion that both sides were right.
The problem in the debate was that they thought only ONE side was correct. When I realized a system could be developed that took in the strengths of both sides and undercut the weakness of each, I had my epiphany moment.
Over the course of the next two months, together with my dedicated team, we devised a system that is more powerful and effective. And to think that it all started with attending a conference. Now, I go to conferences with a list of problems that I need to solve and expect to find solutions. Solving problems has definitely increased my dedication to work.
Dedication happens when we truly love our work. Developing that dedication can only be done on purpose. Let us get to work doing those things that we love.