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Secrets to Real Success – Work Your Values

By December 5, 2019Leadership

Years ago, I had a conversation with a retired fellow about what he did for a living. I’ll paraphrase his response: “I really didn’t like my job but it paid the bills and allowed me to do a few things I enjoyed on the weekends.”

Even though that conversation was almost twenty years ago, I still remember the profound sense of sadness I felt. Not for me, but for him. For over 30 years, he had worked a job that he really didn’t like.

Out of 168 hours a week, the average person will spend 40-60 of those hours at work – if not more. That’s a significant chunk of time to spend doing something that you don’t enjoy, or even worse – that you dread.

I believe our Creator has designed us with an internal need for meaning.

I am at my best when I can connect the task at hand with a greater good or purpose. That is not to say that every task fills me with immense joy and a sense of exuberance. But when the connection is clear and strong, even difficult tasks can be rewarding because I know they are necessary.

Without a sense of meaning, any kind of work becomes drudgery. Personally, I believe it is dangerous to our overall wellbeing to accept drudgery as a way of life. Not when we were made for so much more.

What enables successful people to work long hours, endure criticism, and recover from false starts and failed ventures? One important reason is the sense of meaning they attach to their work. For them, it’s often more than just a job – it’s a calling. This (whatever it might be) is what they were made to do. To give up on that is to give up on themselves.

Successful people value their work and they work their values.

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  • 25+ years of senior leadership experience
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