For most of us, Labor Day is all about pools and cookouts.
But the holiday was originally created to celebrate the contributions that American workers have made to to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.
So as we enjoy our 3-day weekend, I encourage you to flip the script and assess if your job is truly contributing to YOUR well-being. Because a 2014 Gallup survey reveals some interesting statistics:
- Only 32% of Americans claim to be engaged at their job.
- Over half of people surveyed describe their work as "frustrating."
- The average American reports that they are working 47 hours a week in the office, nearly a full-day more than what was once considered the standard 40 hours.
- Those 47 hours equal nearly 36% of the 168 hours available to us in a given week.
- The end result? Only 33% of Americans describe themselves as "happy."
Long story short, most people are spending more time than ever in the office and feeling less joy.
Brendon Burchard says there are 7 areas of our life that contribute to our happiness. In no particular order, they are Love, Health, Mission/Purpose, family, finances, spirituality, and hobbies.
What? No mention of career?
This isn't about discounting the importance of our work, as it is the primary contributor to our finances. As such, it affects our ability to support ourselves and our families. But where it really belongs is as a subsection of our mission and purpose. Are we doing the work we love? Are we making a difference? Are we doing what we feel we were born to do?
My clients often tell me that they would be happier at work if they just got a promotion or pay raise. When I ask them what getting those things will provide them, they typically answer validation and an increased sense of self-worth.
That formula is totally backwards.
Instead of looking for our job to provide us a sense of purpose, we need to find our purpose and seek out a job that aligns with it.
"Great, Dan! I don't have any idea where to begin to find my purpose. Is it hiding in the couch cushions with the remote?"
Purpose sounds like an intimidating concept, but it's actually quite simple. Perhaps the best definition I've heard comes from my mentor, Mastin Kipp, who says "Purpose is an emotion that we cultivate within ourselves and give away to the world in the form of service to others."
More simply? It's not about what we want to GET from the world. It's about what we want to GIVE.
If the emotion that you are cultivating at work is stress, fear, anxiety, or dread... it's a sure-fire sign that you are out of alignment with your purpose.
I know first hand what it is like to feel trapped in a job that you are just doing for the money. I know the frustration that comes from playing small and staying in your comfort zone when you KNOW you are capable of more. I know what it's like to keep telling yourself that you have a "two-year plan", only to five years pass with no action.
But I also know you can make a decision right now to change it.
Most of us think that if we can just find clarity, then we can be courageous. If we just know what the EXACT result will be when we change careers, or start a new relationship, or start writing that book, that we can find the courage to take action.
Sadly, that's not how it works.
We must be courageous first. We must take action to face our fears and trust that once we do, the Universe will take three steps back towards us.
I've seen this unfold in my life first hand and in the lives of dozens of clients around the world.
Yes, you can feel the inspiration that results from finding your purpose. You can experience the freedom that comes with doing work you're in love with. You can feel the deep sense of joy that comes from knowing you are using your talents to make a difference.
In fact, my great wish for you this Labor Day weekend is to replace the feeling of "labor" with a bigger sense of "purpose." Labor is a struggle. Purpose is effortless. Labor brings you down in your career, relationships, and overall well-being. Purpose improves all of those areas.
Not sure where to start? The best action step would be to find a coach or mentor who can show you the tools and speed up your learning process. Even the world's greatest athletes work with coaches who can see their blind spots and help them up their game.
I'd love to help you achieve higher in the game of life. Click HERE to schedule a FREE, 25-minute, breakthrough session and experience what coaching can do for you!