You know, it’s crazy. Life has the strangest ways of working out in the most wonderful of ways.
Five years ago I sat in my college home just weeks away from moving to Bloomington, Indiana to join a leadership development program (LDP) for one of the largest commercial print companies in the US. I had no idea about the things I would learn, the places I would go, and the most amazing people I would meet.
It was on the verge of my move thatwas first thought up. I wanted so very badly to hit the ground running in my new career and document the things I learned in the LDP. This blog was my way of doing that, but little did I know about the doors that would open and the incredible support I would receive from the printing community.
To celebrate the fifth birthday of the Dream, I thought I would share my top five ways to wake up (almost) everyday loving what you do.
5. Start Young
I’ve always been amazed that we’re expected to go to college at the ripe old age of eighteen with our minds made up on what we want to do with our lives. Had I graduated with my original major of Actuarial Science, I might be a whole lot richer, but I certainly don’t think I’d be near as happy as I am today.
So where does it come from? Where do we really learn what we can do for a living and how do we determine just how happy we’re going to be doing it? How can we prepare ourselves to know what to do with our lives at such a young age?
I believe it comes from our youth. I believe that you need to get involved in as many activities as you can in grade school, junior high and high school.
Don’t like one of the extra-curriculars? Darn. At least that’s something you know doesn’t make you happy.
Explore arts and crafts, build something, find the thing that keeps you mesmerized for hours. The world needs more people with passion for what they do.
4. Be a Sponge
Okay, this is my favorite phrase ever created. No matter how you get to a job or a career path – the easiest way to gain an understanding and appreciation for any industry is to ask questions.
Ask questions about why someone does something a certain way. Ask how someone sets a process up that’s outside of your department. Understand as much as you can about the whole machine to really appreciate and value your role in the organization.
3. Listen to Your World
I know, that sounds a bit hippie-ish, doesn’t it? Well, sometimes, your world speaks to you. You know, you try something time and time again, only to end up three steps behind where you were in the end?
I believe that sometimes there is a friction just to see how much you want something, but other times, it’s like you get hit by a brick wall and suddenly you realize it’s not the path you’re supposed to be taking any way.
Maybe you believe it’s God’s way of showing you the path you need to take, or maybe you believe it’s the universe pulling you in a certain direction; whatever it is, you need to listen to it.
2. Make Stress Your Friend
I watched this wonderful TED Talk the other day about stress and how it is influenced by the way we think about it.
They conducted a study that monitored individuals over an 8 year period. One of the original questions asked was whether or not they believed stress was harmful to their health. The other question was whether they had experienced a high level of stress over the last year.
The results were very intriguing. For those who had indicated they had a high level of stress & believed stress was harmful to their health, they had a 43% increased risk of dying.
But get this…for those who had a high level of stress, but did not believe stress was harmful to their health – they had the lowest risk of dying of anyone in the study!
She continues on in the video to discuss the idea that stress becomes our friend by recognizing responses to stress (sweating, fast-paced heartbeats, etc.) and thinking of them as if they are just our body’s way of preparing us for a challenge.
Here’s the 15 minute video link again, I highly recommend checking it out!
Stress is something I am always trying to manage better, and I’m anxious to put this new spin on the way I think about the stress I experience.
1. Choose to Be Positive
I’m a big believer in attitudes impacting the outcomes that come our way.
When you get in a bad mood, it’s almost like literally everything that could go wrong, definitely does go wrong. Even just the smallest breath of negativity can turn your entire day upside down.
It doesn’t just have to be events in your life either. No matter how positive of a mood you’re in, if someone is being a big ol’ Negative Nancy around you, it’s like you can feel the good vibes draining out of your body, you know?
People want to work with positive people. It’s not easy to be positive all the time, but making an effort to look at the brighter side definitely helps YOU feel better about any situation.
What makes you love what you do?
What makes you get up in the morning and get after your dream? What advice do you have for someone lost and looking for that career that’s going to make them happy? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
And lastly, thank you!
Thank you so very much for making this a special birthday for the Dream. I’m honored to have you as a reader, and I’m grateful to have the support of each dreamer out there. Cheers to the next five years of living the dream in four color!