There are times as young adults where we may think we have everything figured out, and what we want to do for the rest of our lives. That’s great for those that do, but I am not one of those people. For me it’s about having a base and having the confidence that I started my career exactly where I wanted to. Through that, I believe my true life’s passion will be carved from the work I do day-to-day.
“Don’t do work for recognition, but do work worthy of recognition” – Jackson Brown, Jr.
Think about all of the times in your life that you have been told obsession is bad, or obsession is weird. The oh so common, “why do you keep doing that, focus on things that matter,” or something along those lines. We have all heard it, and we have all brushed it off perhaps a number of times. The truth is, whatever you are obsessing about, for in that moment (be it be a good thing to obsess over like a hobby), is acquiring all of your attention and drive. Throughout college, I would get so flustered at times with busy work and non-major courses, thinking they had no purpose, and would try my hardest to breeze my way through it, just to get it done. It wasn’t until the end of college where I learned to reshape my logic behind this and leverage it in a positive light. Once doing so, I suddenly began to appreciate the types of classes I loathed in the past. Might I say that I even began to learn more and perform better. The reason I tell you this is because the lesson I learned through that period, I have carried over with me into the work world, and perhaps will be the key to determine my future.
Just like with school, tasks in your work place may be drug out and drive you crazy at times. It’s the classic why will this not work; I know I am doing this right. Then you think on it for a little more time, and more times than not you finally figure out your mistake. Or perhaps you are working through a long drawn out spreadsheet and have to make small edits that seems to take days to reach a point of completion. My trick here is to simply apply a mental block. Drown out that voice in your head that is complaining and think of the satisfaction that you will feel once you have accomplished your work. As I discussed in my last blog, these are the small victories that are worth living for, especially in your job. It’s the sudden gratification gained from checking one more thing off the list. However, I say simply doing the work and completing it is not enough.
In addition to applying this mental block to finish your work in a sane manner, take that mental block, twist it around, and mold it into confidence that you can use. This is where I like to say one enters their metaphysical world of possibility. Moreover, this is the point where one should begin to obsess over their work, even the smallest of tasks. Just like earlier when we were talking about being weird. When you were younger and you were obsessed with something and all you received from that was criticism. Little did those people know, that weird thing was a passion of yours. Even the smallest of work tasks can be a passion of yours as well. Once you reach this point of obsession, your quality of work will increase, you will retain more of what you are doing, and in the end, both your company and yourself will benefit. And perhaps then you may learn to approach even the most mundane of tasks in a more energetic and creative manner.
Once you reach this point of obsession, it sparks two things, imagination and creativity. Theorists say that it takes a minimum of 10,000 hours to master a skill. Well, in order to actively apply 10,000 hours to anything, you must have some level of obsession for that certain thing, whatever it be. By applying this to your work you will begin to notice that you are finding passion in areas that may have never of crossed your mind previously. You will also begin to take pride in the work you are tasked to do, leading to more opportunity, which in turn, will instill passion. And once you are passionate about your work, then success will take care of itself in the long run. This success being measured as small or large.
For me, I look back on when I first began to practice this, and notice a significant change in my goal setting. Although I have not been in the work place long, this work ethic and obsession, is a key driver to making me approach my work the way I do. I still don’t know entirely what I want to do someday. I know I want to open a business someday but I don’t know what kind. What I do know, is that right now I am gaining a high level of experience every day. Learning from those who have done it and seeing their passion that goes into their work, makes me want to do the same if not better. I know that asserting myself to my work and trying my hardest to reach this point of obsession, I will improve and reach a point of no return in a positive light. I have been working for four and a half months now and I already know that there is no room for someone to simply show up 9 to 5, punch their time card, and go home unseen or unheard. My advice is to actively search for ways trigger obsession, and the passion that emerges will shape you as a business person and as an individual. Climbing the ladder to success can be daunting, and it is okay to slip from time to time, (that is a conversation for another time) but if you don’t keep climbing, and climbing in search of passion, then you will never reach your destination.
“If you work hard enough and assert yourself, and use your mind and imagination, you can shape the world to your desires. – Malcolm Gladwell