There’s a myth I want to dispel right now.
People believe that if you chase mastery you will be happy. This makes me mad. They say don’t pursue your passions just focus on being really good at something. They are fools because they want to give you the magic bullet to solve your career unhappiness.
Chasing mastery can only make you happy if you have a balanced approach.
This is where most people get tripped up.
They chase after what they think will make them happy without looking at other factors.
I love music, but you won’t catch me up on stage with a guitar belting out my latest song.
Appreciate Your Weaknesses
I know my limitations. Maybe a bit too well.
You must be honest with yourself. Your weaknesses matter as much as your strengths.
This is where it gets tricky for most people. They see themselves up on stage with an excited crowd cheering them on. They want this feeling. They think it will make them happy. They believe that if they try hard enough they will make it happen. They negate their strengths and try to make their dreams a reality.
That’s why I advocate to all my clients to create a plan that fits their strengths, passions, and focus. I like to call this trifecta your superpowers. It’s the last one that’s maybe the most important.
Focus allows you to get lost in the work. You’ve heard the phrase:
“Life is a journey, not a destination.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson
That’s why getting lost in the work is as important as getting great results. Because the journey is where 99% of your time is spent. If you only enjoy 1% of your work then you have a terrible happiness ratio.
This is why passion is as important as strengths. If all you did was focus on your strengths and you became the best in your industry in your field, you could still feel empty.
Know Your Purpose
It’s the people that love their work and are amazing at what they do that are the happiest and get the best results.
You can be extremely happy just doing projects that make you happy, but not a lot of money. In fact you should be doing projects that are solely done to make you happy. That’s what Work Happy Now is for me. It’s my passion project.
You can make a lot of money mastering skills that others admire and pay you well for, but true happiness is mastering work that you love.
To be able to do work that makes you happy and played to your strengths and focus is a trifold effort and always a moving target.
I might master weeding my garden, but it probably won’t make make happy for very long. There is not a lot of difficulty in weeding.
What made you happy 10 years ago won’t make you happy today. Skills you mastered 10 years ago won’t be as enjoyable today. Your brain craves new challenges.
The best way to make mastery an important part of your happiness program is to review and adjust on a regular basis. At the end of each day I review my progress. It’s this habit that has helped me make sure I have a balanced approach to my work.
I make sure that following my passions or mastering a skill doesn’t over consume my life.
Reviewing your day is one the best habits you can implement in your career. You may want to start with a gratitude journal. It's where I started and one of the best habits I've ever implemented into my life.
How you do this is important. It’s important to have a system that fits your personality.
Do you use reflection to improve your career?
I’m working on creating the Work Happy Now podcast, so you can grow your work happiness on your commute or lunch hour. I could use your input. What do you need from me to help you be a better leader at work? Just fill out this 2 minute survey and let me know how I can serve you better.
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