“Work is love made visible.” – Kahlil Gibran
Love and work are not topics we necessarily talk about together, but if we let it work can be a wonderful way to express ourselves…and show love to those around us!
Whether you are waiting tables or a brain surgeon, any job you do is about serving others and making their life better on some level. We have all had experiences where someone working in their job has lifted us up and made a difference to our day or brought us down and made our day worst.
A friend of mine told me a story once about a shop assistant he had observed in a large department store in London. It was the shop assistant’s job to answer customer queries all day long. At any one time, he would have queues of people waiting to ask questions and they were often ready to let off steam about something that had gone wrong! My friend saw that the assistant was consistently calm and happy, answering each customer in turn without getting flustered or overwhelmed. My friend managed to strike up a conversation with the shop assistant and asked him his secret. The shop assistant told him that meditation helped him to stay focussed and centred so that he could be present and serve each customer to the best of his ability.
This is an inspiring story that points to something important: we always have a choice about who we are going to be at work, regardless of our job. We have all met wonderful people cleaning floors and people who are not so wonderful who have amazing jobs. So whatever your job, how do you bring love to work?
You Have A Choice
Put your best foot forward each day. Even if you dislike your job, you can do your best today and help people around you. Remind yourself of this often. It can be easy to lose sight of if your day takes a turn for the worst or if you have a run in with your boss! If something unpleasant happens at work, do your best to deal with it straight away and then move on. Wallowing or complaining about a situation without taking action won’t change it.
Set yourself up for your work day. Take care of your own needs and put a little extra time into getting yourself feeling good before you go to work. If you go into a work with a hangover or after giving yourself ten minutes to get ready, you are not going to be feeling your best! I make time to exercise in the morning before work and have a good breakfast. It helps me to get myself centred and ready for the day ahead.
Be grateful for your work. Even if you don’t like your job, there will be something you can be grateful for if you take the time to look (even if it’s just the pay). Being grateful doesn’t mean you have to stay in a job you don’t like but it will help you to develop a more positive mindset when you are there. Have a look at your work and see if you are taking anything for granted? You don’t like your job, but enjoy being with your colleagues? This is something to be thankful for. When I have practised gratefulness it really had allowed me to develop a more useful outlook and be happier at my work.
Enjoy Each Day
Make a decision to enjoy each day. It really is as simple as that. Your mindset makes a huge difference to your experience. I have had jobs which I have disliked, but taking one day at a time and trying to enjoy each as much as possible, always helped. Make the best of the situation you find yourself within and spread that enjoyment to those around you.
Like the shop assistant that my friend met, if we can learn to be present and deal with each moment as it occurs, we have a lot more love and energy to give. Practice being in the moment and dealing with the task in front of you like the shop assistant. Often, our unhappiness at work comes from thinking that our situation should be different. Stop resisting and start engaging with your work.
A smile goes a long way and can help you feel better as well as having a positive influence on those around you. Smile often!
Obviously, the more that you genuinely do enjoy your job, the better. Strive to find work you love. It becomes less of an effort to find pleasure in your work and express love, when you really enjoy your work. Your work then truly does become as the quote at the top of this article says: love made visible.
So, how do you bring love to your work?
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