“Follow the fun.” – I heard Jordan Peele say in an interview in regards to his work.
What if we went to work because it was a joyful activity?
I know, it’s a crazy thought. Work is WORK. We go to work to support our lifestyles or because we have to and only sometimes because we want to.
One of my best friends has a side hustle, but she hasn’t grown it because “she’s lazy,” according to her. She works hard in her 9 to 5, and to go home and build her side hustle feels exhausting. Where is her reprieve?
Is she lazy though? Maybe. Maybe she’s not willing to work hard enough to get her business off the ground.
Or, maybe she needs to follow the fun – to redefine “hard work.” All too often we assume success = grinding pain and suffering.
I’m not saying pain and suffering don’t exist when we work hard, but what could happen if we focused on what we’re gaining versus what we’re losing when it comes to following our goals? And what would our day to day look like if we simply did work for the joy of it?
Here are three ways to work from a more joyful place so you can (1) achieve your goals and (2) feel good doing it!
Find The Resistance
When we’re working towards a goal or a dream, there’s a level of resistance that happens. Call it fear, lack of good habits or the lizard brain.
Personally I feel the resistance when I’m close to success. I can sense the self sabotage nearby. That’s resistance on a larger scale.
On a smaller scale, I’ll feel it on a regular day when I’m transitioning from a leisure activity to a work task.
For example, since I’m not yet running Work Bigger full time, my day is broken up into shifts. I’ll come home after a full day at the Associated Press (my 9 to 5), then spend the next 2+ hours picking up my son, feeding him, getting him ready for bed, playing, etc.
Some nights I’ll need to jump back on the computer to work on Work Bigger.
But first there’s the resistance.
Wine or work? … Couch or work?
This isn’t the same as taking time to myself or spending the evening with my husband to re-fuel or find balance. This is resistance and there’s an important distinction.
The resistance feels like a barrier. It doesn’t feel good. It’s annoying. And I can easily listen to it, and feel like shit after.
Know when you’re dealing with resistance. Then move through it. A different type of reward follows, which brings me to….
Identify the Fun. And Hold On To It
What’s happening when you’re fully enjoying a work task?
When I’m writing or thinking through the Work Bigger strategy, I find flow.
I let these moments anchor me especially because this is what I didn’t have in so many of my 9 to 5 jobs. I craved the creativity, the challenge, and the breakthroughs, and now I have them. And the other roles I have in my life don’t always allow me to work from this place.
Yes, I love being a mom, but it’s a different kind of challenge and reward.
And yes, I love spending time with my husband and friends, but they provide different experiences.
Thinking about work in this context shifts the mental conversation and improves motivation. I’m working from a place of joy and gratitude. Creating is fun, and it’s an opportunity.
In which moments during work do you find the flow? And do they bring you joy?
Remember that It’s Not About You
What’s the larger purpose of your work whether you’re spending a day volunteering, you’re an administrative assistant or you’re launching your own company?
It takes time to identify your mission and career path, but every activity we participate in is an opportunity to contribute. Remember that the work we do and how we show up have larger implications than we realize no matter how “small” the task may seem.
Let the impact you can have on others serve as motivation – whether that’s through a new 9 to 5 or a new business idea.
In Conclusion: Let’s Redefine Work
What could we accomplish if we worked from a place of joy, and if joy was also our purpose for working? Our contributions could be more positive, more inspiring, and we could accomplish so much more – not just on an individual level but on a greater scale.
Tune into the resistance, and move through it. Then follow the fun. And if that’s still not enough, get clear on the purpose.
Join the discussion 2 Comments
I love your advice of making it about something bigger than yourself. In my previous 9-5 this often helped me get through admin tasks, useless meetings and internal politics. Since I work for myself I just love work PERIOD. And seeing my creations flourish into reality makes everything else worth it.
Thanks so much for your comment Franziska! I love that you tied admin tasks to something greater. That’s key especially for smaller tasks where it can be more difficult to see the bigger picture. (And I love work too 🙂 )