“The Lord didn’t burden us with work, but rather blessed us with it.” This is a concept I heard recently that I have truly taken to heart. No matter how religious or spiritual we are, so many people see work as a burden, rather than the divine blessing, especially in today’s unpredictable economy, that it truly is.
Let’s face it, if setting our wages was entirely up to us, we would all write ourselves a blank check. But in the real world it isn’t that simple. If you constantly find yourself unthankful for your job, then I encourage you to review the following lesson of workplace supply and demand.
Regardless of what you do or whom you work for, whatever you produce or service you provide is a commodity that is sold. The selling price has to include the cost of the materials or equipment you use to get your job done, taxes and general operating expenses for your employer to remain in business. The rest is your wage.
If your particular job results in more of the profits, then naturally the higher your salary. On the other hand, if your job contributes less, then of course your take home pay will be substantially lower. The less you produce efficiently, the more it costs your employer to keep you around. The more the product costs the consumer, the fewer people will make a purchase. The fewer customers who buy it, the less demand there is for your work and the less job security you have.
As you can see prices, wages and, ultimately, job security are largely a question of efficient production and employee attitude–all of which are solely your responsibility.
Imagine if you were to meet Pope John Paul, the Daili Lama, Jesus, Moses, Muhammad, Mother Teresa or any other religious or non-religious hero you might have. As you bask in the experience you feel blessed by simply having them acknowledge you and touch you with their presence. Depending on how “blessed” you feel as the result of the encounter you will feel somewhat changed and energized by becoming “fully alive” in them knowing you and “blessing” you.
Imagine if this same state of “Nirvana” could be “miraculously” applied to your job, making work a blessing rather than a burden or something you have to do every day. Sound impossible?
When clients come to me feeling overwhelmed or out of control, looking for career change help, I encourage them to stop, take a breath and make a list of at least five blessings/positives in their lives that have come as a result of their work. Then, take a moment to reflect on those things and to cherish them. In most cases, focusing on the positive aspects of your job instead of dwelling on the negatives will calm your mind as you realize that the blessings greatly outnumber your burdens- allowing you to return to your daily workplace routine refreshed and renewed.
If all else fails, remember the parable of the oyster and the eagle. When God made the oyster, he guaranteed him absolute economic and social security. First he built the oyster a house with a sturdy shell to protect him from his enemies. When hungry, the oyster simply cracks open his shell and the food rushes in.
However, when God made the eagle, he decreed, “The blue sky is your limit. Go build your own home and hunt your own prey.” And the eagle went out and built his house on the highest mountain peak where storms threaten his survival every day. For food, this majestic creature often flies through miles of rain, wind and snow.
As a result, the eagle, not the oyster remains the enduring symbol of America.
Work is a blessing to be enjoyed and to be truly satisfied. Just like the eagle, you must face and complete your tasks in the spirit they are truly meant to be done! Every day you are not fulfilled by the work you do, you are missing out on a blessing that has been given to you. Allow yourself the permission and strength to come out of your shell and make the job you are searching for or already have the one you’ve always dreamed of.