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Dream Job. Does It Even Exist?

Dream Job. Does It Even Exist?

A lot of people, if not the majority, go through life with rather unrealistic expectations and notions concerning what they believe to be a dream job. What every particular person believes to be such an occupation is different, but there is one thing most people who talk about their dream jobs have in common – they never seem to have such a job at the moment. A dream job is always somewhere around a corner. After all, it is a dream – it is not attainable, it is just something to wish for.

So what is a dream job? Does it exist? Is there only one dream job for everyone? Let’s try to find out.

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What Is a Dream Job?

Everybody has their own definition of a dream job, and their own factors that define how close to the ideal the job is. For one person a dream job is closely associated with a huge paycheck and daily challenges. For somebody else money may not be such a huge motivation; he would be much more interested in a possibility to do something he likes and not be bothered by external distractions.

Is There Just One Dream Job for Me?

One of the most harmful misconceptions people hold about dream jobs is that each person has exactly one calling, and there is only one dream job that accommodates for it. In reality, for each person there exist countless positions in which he will be able to thrive and be happy – at least if he applies some effort.

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The thing is, it is your business to make yourself happy doing your job and not vice versa. Two things we always have power over are our thoughts and attitudes concerning things that surround us. It doesn’t mean that you can do any job equally well and be happy in the process, but it does mean that you can contribute a great deal to whether you feel content or miserable in your current position.

Do your job well, look for opportunities to improve yourself, rise higher than your immediate status, enhance your work process – and you will be amazed how closer your job will get to the ideal. Repeat to yourself that you are bored out of your mind, that your job is hopeless drudgery, that your bosses don’t appreciate you – and even the most enviable occupation will turn into a living hell.

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Does Dream Job Mean Constant Happiness?

Not in the least. Just like you are going to have moments of satisfaction even in the most hateful line of business, your dream job doesn’t guarantee an evenly blissful experience. There will be moments of frustration, annoyance and outright despair.

In practice, it means that you may currently have a dream job without realizing it, because you believe that if you aren’t satisfied with it 24/7, then something must be wrong. Any job has challenges, and not all challenges are pleasant, so don’t get discouraged.

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How Do I Look for My Dream Job(s)?

Try to remember what you liked most about your previous jobs? What kinds of activities did you like most at school or college? It doesn’t necessarily mean such things as mathematics or biology – perhaps you liked to organize things, and this inclination went through all your year at school and university, so it may be a good idea to look for jobs that include organizing.

Dream job is an extremely vague notion, but a powerful notion nonetheless. Don’t let a desire for a dream job in future spoil your current life and deter you from doing your present work well – for it may be much closer to be the occupation of your dreams than you think.

Featured photo credit: Businessman On Park Bench/nmdude4 via flickr.com

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Melissa Burns

Melissa is an entrepreneur and independent journalist. She writes about communication, entrepreneurship and success on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on September 17, 2020

5 Practical Ways to Get Over a Mental Block

5 Practical Ways to Get Over a Mental Block

There’s nothing quite like a state of “flow” when you’re working. The rare moments when your inspiration aligns with your motivation likely lead to some of your most creative work. Plus, it feels great to actually check a task or project off the list so you can move on to the next thing. Meanwhile, a mental block — its opposite — can cause work to feel laborious and uninspired. Forget creativity when you have a mental block — it makes it difficult even to start working on what you need to do.

A mental block can manifest in several ways. Perhaps your imposter syndrome is squelching your creative ideas, for instance, or you’re overwhelmed by the breadth of a project and its impending deadline. Maybe you’re just tired or stressed.

Either way, having a mental block feels like being trapped in your own head, and it can seriously dampen your ability to think outside the box. The problem is, you’re so locked into your own perspective that you don’t see more innovative approaches to your problems.[1]

Luckily, jumping over these mental hurdles is simpler than you think. You just need the right strategies to get your flow back.

Try these five practical ways to overcome a mental block.

1. Break Your Project Down

A few years ago, I was working on changing a company product that I believed would hugely benefit our customers. Sounds great, right?

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As inspired as I was to make people’s lives easier, though, the sheer magnitude of the task at hand felt overwhelming. Every morning, I cracked open my laptop to work and felt totally paralyzed. I loved the idea, yes, but actualizing it felt risky. What if it didn’t turn out the way I pictured in my mind? More importantly, where would I even begin?

A former colleague gave me great advice over coffee:

Change how you think. Start by breaking the big project down into small tasks.

When a major project overwhelms you, you only see the entire forest instead of the individual trees. And as you stare it down, you start to feel discouraged by your own lack of progress, thus slowing you down further.

Breaking down a massive task into smaller chunks makes the work feel more manageable. You’ll have multiple clear places to start and end with, which will lend a motivating sense of productivity and mastery to your process. Learn more about it here: The Motivation Flowchart: The Mental Process of Successful People

Think of it as accumulating small wins. When you realize you’re more capable than you have once thought, you’ll develop the momentum and confidence needed to get your big job done little by little.[2]

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2. Change Up Your Scenery

Of course, there’s a time and place for sitting down to get things done. But if you’re experiencing a mental block, switching up your surroundings can make a big difference in your output.

Have you ever noticed how your environment directly impacts your performance and mood?

Your brain associates your physical surroundings with certain feelings and activities. So, if you feel mentally stuck, your mind may need some new sensory stimuli.

During this time in your life, it may not be possible to set up shop at a cafe or move from your cubicle to a conference room, so you may need to think outside the box. If you’re working remotely in a home office, try going to your dining table or couch. If the weather cooperates, sit outside for a bit with your computer or take a walk around the block.

You can also simply rearrange your workspace. Not sure where to begin? Try decluttering. Some studies show that an organized desk enhances productivity.[3]

The point is to stimulate your brain with new sounds and sights. You may find a much-needed dose of inspiration when you work while breathing in the fresh air, listening to city sounds, or staying in the comfort of your own living space.

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3. Do an Unrelated Activity

When it comes to productivity, a bit of distraction isn’t always a bad thing. That’s especially true if your chosen distraction helps you get things done in the long run.

Have you realized how your most creative thoughts tend to bubble up when you’re, say, lying in bed or taking a shower? In their research of the “incubation period,” scientists have discovered that people’s best ideas seem to surface when they aren’t actively trying to solve a problem.[4]

In a 2010 study, participants needed to look for a roommate or new employee based on the profiles that the researchers gave. The people who had a brief “incubation period” — in this case, working on an anagram — consistently made better choices than those who spent more time weighing their options.

If you can’t seem to prime your brain for a project, try doing something completely unrelated to work, such as washing your dishes, working out, or calling a friend. Some experts say finding another low-stake project to work on can help jump-start the creative part of your brain and activate your flow.[5]

The key is to allow your unconscious mind to do its best work: eliciting the new knowledge your conscious mind may be ignoring or suppressing.[6]

4. Be Physical

Feeling antsy? When your mind won’t seem to settle into a state of flow, it may help to swap out your mental activity for a physical one and see how it impacts your perspective.

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While any physical activity is beneficial for your body — and getting up to move can serve as a helpful form of distraction — certain forms of exercise can more directly impact the mind. To be specific, relaxing, flow-based exercises like dance, yoga, or tai chi can create a gentle sense of momentum in your body, which can prime your brain for the same state.

Stress-reducing activities may also be necessary. Meditating or taking slow, deep breaths will also calm your nervous system if you’re feeling overwhelmed. Evidence shows that the logical, creative part of your brain essentially shuts off when you’re stressed.[7]

On the flip side, when your mind and body are relaxed, you can think more clearly, be more creative, and focus for longer periods — all of which will help you overcome a mental block.

5. Don’t Force It

It can be frustrating to fight against your own mind. If your mental block won’t go away after some effort, it may be time to take a break. Forcing creative thoughts only adds to your stress levels, which in turn inhibits your ability to think creatively. And if you sit and stare at a project for too long, you’ll not only waste valuable time but also begin to associate this specific work with frustration and produce work you’re not proud of.

“I know that forcing something is not going to create anything beyond mediocre, so I step aside and work on a different project until it hits me,” the artist Ben Skinner said about his creative process.[8]

If your work isn’t time-sensitive, then it may make sense to step away for a while to focus on something else, be it an administrative task that requires less creativity or a project that you feel motivated to work on.

When the time is right, you’ll find your way back to the original task with a fresh, creative perspective (hopefully).

More on Getting Rid of a Mental Block

Featured photo credit: Jonas Leupe via unsplash.com

Reference

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