You probably already know how you feel about your career, especially since we are still in the early part of the year. Just a few weeks ago, you most likely stopped and thought about how 2016 could be a game-changer for you.
But do you know this?
How you define work.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines work as "activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result" or "mental or physical activity as a means of earning income; employment."
But what is your definition?
Since the industrial revolution, the working world has made dramatic changes. New jobs are being created every day, most of which we could never have dreamed of just decades ago. We are finding new ways for people to tap into their innate talents and leverage their expertise for the good of the world.
Yet most of us are operating under an outdated definition of work. We think work should be hard and that it should be a sacrifice. Enjoying work is simply a "nice to have" that only the big-shots are privileged to experience.
But we must remember that the mind creates the experience. As the Buddha taught,"The mind is everything. What you think, you become." Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck's research on the power of thinking and a growth mind-set provides even more evidence that our realities -- and futures -- are greatly shaped by how our minds approach the situation. It's safe to say that if you believe that work is hard, that it isn't necessarily fun, or that it is impossible to gain fulfillment from it -- then that's exactly what you will experience.
So let's rethink this. The next best step is to come up with your own definition of work. Think through the following two questions:
- What is your definition of work?
- How similar or different is your actual day-to-day work from your definition?
Ask these questions often -- not just once. Your definition of work should change as you better align your reality with your ideals.
If you want to spend the majority of your time loving what you do and feeling a deep sense of fulfillment, you need to take charge of creating this for yourself. Whether you are an entrepreneur or moving up the corporate ladder, you have more power to manage your experience of work than you believe.
So, ask yourself, do you want to spend your time doing something someone else has defined for you? Or do you want to innovate, redefine, and create something you will love?