Passionate about your career?
Have you ever wondered how some of the best musicians in the world can put up amazing performances in their recitals and concerts, over and over again, as though it was their first time? Or how is it that a teacher or trainer could hold on to the enthusiasm of imparting knowledge to a new batch of students every year - the same thing that they have been teaching for years?
It's the passion for what they do, and rediscovering the same passion every time they do it - by wanting to be an inspiration to others, and fuelling others with the same drive and motivation. Most of all, these people believe in two things fervently: that what they do matter, and what they do can affect others in a significant way.
Many of us started off in our jobs with much optimism, zeal and energy, feeling all excited and pepped up about the future. The problem arises when that passion fizzles out, and it becomes harder and harder to hold on to that initial feeling of enthusiasm. It might be a result of stress, an increasing workload or the work environment, but many of us tend to let those early positive feelings slide away too fast too soon. We quickly forget the things that matter to us, and what got us into doing what we do in the first place.
So how do you keep feeling inspired and infuse passion into your deliverables?
Love what you do
One way to rediscover your passion is remembering what got you into doing what are you doing now in the first place. Which aspects of your job are you truly passionate about? Is it meeting new people? Closing business deals? Developing a new software? Travelling to other countries? Or having the freedom to exercise your creativity? Start identifying what really matters to you and work on the areas that you value most in your career.
Corporate life does have a tendency to suck all the passion out of you, but only if you allow it. Take pride in what you love doing, and pursue it relentlessly. If your current job does not allow you to do that, it might be best to rediscover that passion in an organisation or environment that does or encourages that - so that you can thrive and make a career out of the things you love to do.
Strive to impact others
People who constantly seek to impact others through their work often retain a high level of passion in what they do. Musicians, athletes, sports professionals, news journalists and teachers are some of those who embody such values. Athletes and other sports professionals aim for nothing less than the world title or record to do their country proud. Journalists risk their lives constantly to report what the world needs to know. Some teachers have been known to go to great lengths to motivate and inspire their students, sometimes giving more of themselves than the job actually requires.
That is how these people manage to do the same thing over and over again and still be as passionate about their work as they have been since day one. They strive to make a difference, and they view their work as a personal contribution to something greater. They look to effect a positive and significant change either in themselves, in others, for the company they work for or for the world at large. If you want more meaning in your job, you might want to explore how you can transform your passion into passion for others - how you can impact your environment or the people around you. It's not how you begin, but how you end that matters.
Stay curious - always
Many people feel stuck in their careers because they are not learning anything new. One of the ways to keep that motivational flame in you going is to constantly fuel it with ideas, information and news relevant to your work. Unless you are undoubtedly the best in the industry, there's always something to learn, something that you can do much better than your peers or your competitors.
Identify the areas in which others are doing better than you, and make it your mission to outperform them. Do regular research, read voraciously, ask probing questions, jot down every idea that come your way, benchmark the successful people whom you admire and network selectively. Incorporate continuous learning as an integral part of your job, and develop an insatiable curiosity and appetite for anything and anyone that is relevant to your line of work.
When you are constantly on a quest for more knowledge to improve yourself, it expands your horizons greatly and keeps you from feeling stagnant and bored. As the saying goes, "Do what you love, the money will follow", there is some sound advice in that. You owe it to yourself to live up to your passion and let it drive your career, instead of allowing it become a stumbling block in your life.
Mix with like-minded people
You will be surprised at the amount of positive energy you can get from being in the same room of like minded people, people who shares the same dreams, hobbies or passion as you do. There is something magical about listening and talking to others in the same industry/job (whom may be equally enthusiastic or even more passionate about their work than you are) and hearing about their experiences first hand. The excitement they exude when they talk about their work is highly inspiring and extremely contagious. You almost feel that if they can enjoy their work this much, there is no reason why you couldn’t.
In the process of networking with these people, not only will their upbeat attitude rub off on you, you will be also be exposed to more possibilities through sharing, collaborating and participating in similar industry events and activities.
Surround yourself with what we call the 'newly passionates', people who are new to the job and brimming with fresh confidence and pride in their work. Their relentless pursuit of success and learning would serve as a strong reminder of how ardent you used to be when you first got into the job, and may help inject a fresh perspective to your work. You can continue to maintain a high level of energy and passion not only through learning from them, but also teaching, coaching, mentoring and sharing with others what you know.