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Why work?

Why work?

Imagine something with me for a moment. You are unbelievably wealthy and debt-free. You don’t have to work for the income it brings you, but still, you do work. Because you aren’t concerned with the amount of your paycheck, you are able to choose the work you want to do for the pure joy and pleasure of it. What would you choose? What would you do?

Do you have an answer in mind?

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For some of you, your answer will be remarkably different from the job you have right now; your work is just that, a job.

For others, your answer will reveal that you are blessed; you are in the role you have chosen. The fact that someone may pay you to do it, (or, in the case of those who are self-employed, you profit from it) is simply icing on the cake; it’s an added bonus.

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When we choose work that brings joy to our lives, we have made one of the smartest, most life-enhancing choices we can possibly make. Passion cannot be overrated.

We can answer this question, why work, in a number of different ways. I’d like to suggest some for you;

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  • Work in celebration of your natural strengths, talents and gifts.
  • Work to make your weaknesses irrelevant, for they are.
  • Work at something you love doing, something that brings you joy.
  • Work to feel the satisfaction of good hard work, of intentional effort.
  • Work to break a sweat, and to get dirty and gritty and real.
  • Work to fulfill your personal mission, or
  • Work to show your agreement with another’s mission.
  • Work to make a difference, to feel fulfilled, to “make meaning.”
  • Work to serve others well, and serve your spirit for giving.
  • Work to support someone you care about.
  • Work to help someone you believe in.
  • Work to learn what you don’t yet know, and
  • Work to teach, coach, and mentor others as only you can.
  • Work for a cause you feel deeply about.
  • Work to leave a legacy.
  • Work to create a better future.
  • Work to deliver a gift to humanity.

Do these things, and you Ho‘ohana (the Hawaiian value for intentional and worthwhile work). You work for yourself. And in the process, I can guarantee you will bring more value to your life, and to your world.

I am quite sure you can add a multitude of other reasons to plunge yourself into the pleasures of work.

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Why do you do it?

  • Related article, with more on Ho‘ohana: Joyful Passion and Ho‘ohana
  • Today: Rosa will be Wayne Hurlbert’s guest on Blog Talk Radio, and you can hear her talk about Ho‘ohana. The show broadcasts live at 2:00pm Hawai‘i time, 8:00pm Eastern. Thereafter, it will be available for download as a podcast for iPod and MP3 players; or you can play it right on your computer. Click in here.

Rosa Say

is the author of Managing with Aloha, Bringing Hawaii’s Universal Values to the Art of Business and the Talking Story blog. She is the founder of Say Leadership Coaching, a company dedicated to bringing nobility to the working arts of management and leadership. Her most recent online collaboration effort is JJLN: the Joyful Jubilant Learning Network.
For more of Rosa’s ideas, click to her Thursday columns in the archives; you’ll find her index in the left column of www.ManagingWithAloha.com


More by this author

Rosa Say

Rosa is an author and blogger who dedicates to helping people thrive in the work and live with purpose.

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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