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13 Ways To Love Your Work

[PunchRock] 13 Thursday: 13 Ways to Love Your Work
(full article)

see below for my notes while writing the article...

I love my work. You can love your work, too. All you need to do is adjust your attitude towards the definition of "work." Here are 13 ways to help you fall in love with your life's work and tips on ways to become happier at work and in all other aspects of your life:

1) Find your purpose in life
My one sentence purpose statement is: "I am a professional frisbee player who travels the world selling sunglasses and helping people." I followed Ryan Ferrier's advice at Bootstrap My Life. Check out his 4 minute video to see how simple it is for you to write your own one sentence purpose statement. I will take a closer look at this sentence throughout the post.

2) Define your work by your life's purpose
Since my life plan is clearly defined, I am able to define any activities that align with those goals as "work." As a pro frisbee player, I am at "work" anytime I am at an ultimate frisbee tournament even if my opponents and teammates are only there to "play." This different attitude also encourages me to perform at the highest level every time I step onto the field.

3) Work doesn't have to feel like work
It follows that I consider myself to be working at every team practice, track workout, lifting session, and even just playing catch with a friend at the beach or at the park. By training my body and practicing skills to make me a better ultimate player, I am working hard every day. Coincidentally, playing ultimate is my favorite activity, so it never actually feels like work.

4) Work is better with a great soundtrack
I listen to music almost all day, everyday. Whether it is on Pandora, Spotify, iTunes, or YouTube, there is always music playing from my iPhone or through my headphones. Music plays a large role on my mood, so listening to upbeat music helps me complete tasks efficiently. I also turn to music for motivation and inspiration. For example, last week I spent 30 minutes listening to country songs to come up with little hand written messages to include with each pair of waveborn sunglasses.

5) Do work that serves others
Notice that my purpose statement ends with "...and helping people" - that means that any activity I do that is helping someone else can be considered work. This can include responding to an email quickly, so your coworker(s) don't have to deal with a minor issue, or driving your roommate to airport so she doesn't have to take three forms of public transportation. We all get a special sense of joy when we help others, so it is great to associate that joy with the "work" in our lives.

6) Stop working for a paycheck and start working for a lifestyle
"Entrepreneurship to us has always been about much more than money or control or being your own boss. Those are all great, but it’s also about freedom, fun, challenging yourself, working on something interesting, living a life you’re crazy about and making a difference."
- Corbatt Barr
It is important to balance business and lifestyle goals. I decided a long time ago that I wasn't interested in making a billion dollars, but I wanted to design a lifestyle that made me happy. Take some time to think about what aspects of your life make you the happiest, and then find a way to work to have that become the focal points of your life. Because Waveborn is a social good sunglasses company, I can now travel anywhere in the world where it is sunny and call it a "business trip." That's worth more than any paycheck, and with a little work, you can build your own location independent lifestyle.

8) Work on building your own platform and tribe
"By owning your own media (in this case, blogging), you own your own platform. Own your own platform, and you own your own career. Own your own career, and you own your own life. Own your own life, and that, my friends, is what freedom is all about."
- Hugh MacLeod, Freedom Is Blogging in Your Underwear
Social media has transformed the way humans connect and interact with one another. By graduating building your network of friends, followers, and subscribers, you increase the impact of your work and the ability for others to share your work with their external networks. This is called worth of mouth marketing, which is vital to the success of any company, project, or initiative you are working on. The more people supporting the work you are doing, the happier you will be working on that project because you know how big of an impact you can. This is why I love spending so much time leading PACME Ultimate to organize ultimate frisbee events in our area - it provides me with the opportunity to teach the next generation of college ultimate players everything I know and love about the sport.

9) Stop complaining and start doing good work
"Be the change you want to see in the world."
- Mahatma Gandhi
Too many people spend too much time complaining about the negatives in their life instead of finding ways to turn them into positives. Ever notice how your bitchy facebook posts don't get nearly as many likes as your upbeat status updates? No one's life is perfect - we all have to deal with hardships on a daily basis. Complaining about how inefficient a system at work is does no good for you, your company, or your clients. Instead of focusing on how terrible everything is, spend your time coming up with ways to improve the current situation and share your ideas with your coworkers to build a better workplace environment.

6) Work on taking care of your health
While working full-time at Deloitte and going to grad school at Georgetown part-time, there were several times when I got burnt out from trying to fulfill all of my commitments to work/school/relationships. Usually once a semester I would get very sick and/or depressed from all the work I had to do and all the sleep that I wasn't getting. It is important to do good work for others, but the only way you can help others is if you are healthy (physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually). Why do you think they tell you to put your oxygen mask on first on airplanes before assisting someone else? Sometimes you need to just go to sleep for 12 hours to let your body rest and recharge. Eating healthy and exercising regularly are also very important for your well-being. By taking care of yourself first, you are much better equipped to handle all of the rest of the work in your life.

10) Stop watching TV and start working on projects that excite you
My Comcast cable box broke in November last year, and it took four months to get fixed for various reasons (read: I hate calling Comcast and my roommate was gone on med school rotations). As a result of not having TV in my life as a distraction, I found that I had a ton more free time in my life to focus on projects that were important to me, instead of just lying on the couch for three hours every night. Even with a working big screen TV, I still rarely watch it except for a few DVR'ed shows (Suits, White Collar, and Franklin and Bash) and Baltimore sporting events. Try cutting out some of the mind numbing television in your life and start thinking outside the box for a change. Suddenly there are more hours in the day to get work done, which should eliminate some stress from your busy life.

13) Remind yourself how awesome you are
"When I get sad, I stop being sad and be awesome instead. True story."
- Barney Stinson
Try spending 30 seconds a day in front of the mirror telling yourself how awesome you are. Do it for 30 days and let me know how awesome of a month you had.


X) Stop caring about money and start caring about your lifestyle - Balance Business and lifestyle goals




X) 2 hours of personal development everyday


X) Run better meetings by having everyone at your company read before our next meeting...(find Deloitte email)





(TODO: write post about the importance of transparency from leadership and include this as a relevant link)


"The most important word on the internet isn't 'search'; the most important word on the internet is 'share.'"
- Hugh MacLeod, Freedom Is Blogging in Your Underwear

Working on something you love, owning your work and benefitting from all the value you produce.
There's something special about pouring your heart and soul into a project because you believe in it and because it makes you feel incredible. Working for yourself can do this for you if you approach it right from the beginning.