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15 March 2009

Passionate Attitude

A recent email from Mac Anderson (Simple Truths) advertised a new publication titled The Power of Attitude. He highlighted the chapter titled "Know Thyself." Think about a time in your life when you made a major change. We have almost all had them, some of us more than one. The most recent for me was a major job change, which was followed by a career change. Before you think the two are one and the same, let me disabuse you of THAT notion, and add something that Anderson speaks of in his work on attitude. (written 3 Mar 2008)

Job, career, it's all the same. No, it isn't. What IS a job? A job is a means to an end much of the time. It is a place you go and put in your time to receive your pay. For some, it's just a punch on the time clock, a place to "make your eight and hit the gate," never looking back or thinking forward when each day is done. A career takes it one step further. A career is something that you do with long-term goals in mind. Whereas a job may never cause you to think of things such as advancement or retirement, a career will do just that. You begin as you mean to go on, and look forward to the next step. Let's add something else into the mix: Passion. What IS your passion? What drives you? Is the work you do related to that passion? If not, why not?

If you love what you do, it shows in the effort that you put forth. I'm not thinking of a Pollyanna attitude on working, but a realistic day-to-day realization that what you do is important to you, and you feel like you have "done something" (translation: made a difference) at the end of the day. We all have job frustrations, or moments when we wonder just what in the world we are doing, but as I have heard so many times over the course of my life: when you love what you do, it's no longer work. As a restaurant manager, my daily goals were many, but could be boiled down to one very basic one: had I served my guests to the best of my ability by giving them the highest quality food in a reasonable amount of time while offering excellent service? If I had done that, then chances are that most of the other daily goals would have fallen into line accordingly. When that guest left dissatisfied, you could almost every time go back and make a checklist of places where the excellence in service did not come into play. Somewhere, somehow, some needs were not met, and I had not done my job.

Are you passionate about your work? Do you love what you do? If not, how are you going to change that? If you dislike your work, eventually it WILL show. By the time I left the restaurant industry, the only thing I liked about my job was my days off. If that is your attitude toward your job, you need to sit down and take a very hard look at what you are doing and why. Whether or not you realize it, that attitude will come across to those that you deal with frequently. The ones that notice it first may be the ones that you see infrequently! Before I changed careers, I did not want to go to work every day. I hated the thought of dealing with it. I loved the people that worked with me and for me, and loved the guests in our restaurant, but I did not love my job. My attitude reflected that dislike. Make the choice: are you in a job, or in a career? Is it your passion? I was forced into the change, and have never been happier in the workforce.

Jesus, thank you for giving me the opportunity for change, and allowing that change to permeate my entire life. Inviting you back into my life has made it complete. Thank you for being the attitude adjustment that I needed. Help me to show that in a positive way, every day.

"I know, O LORD, that a man's life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps." ~Jeremiah 10:23 NIV

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