“The purpose of life is to fart around. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.”—Kurt Vonnegut
Happy Wednesday!!! As many of you know, I just gave my first TED talk. It was extremely nerve-wracking, because, instead of viewing it as an opportunity to fart around, I took it very seriously. I tried really hard to make it perfect, awe-inspiring, the best talk I’ve ever given. Trying really hard is never a wise strategy. In doing so, I completely forgot my number one motto which is: “Have fun. No matter what.”
I didn’t exactly bomb the talk, but it wasn’t the firework-inducing success I wanted.
The part that WAS fun was listening to the other speakers. I felt so honored to be chosen for this inaugural TEDX Lawrence and really enjoyed the talks by my fellow co-presenters.
Dr. Shane Lopez, who spoke right before me (when my heart was palpitating so loudly I missed half of it), mentioned that only 13 percent of people like their jobs. For a person who has to pinch herself every now and again to make sure this career of mine isn’t just a wonderful dream, this is a shocking statistic. That means 87 percent of us aren’t jumping up and down when Monday rolls around.
He also mentioned that the secret of those 13 percent who do LOVE their job is they’ve taken ownership of it. They’ve designed their job in a way that brings meaning.
And here’s the thing. We all have the opportunity to do that–no matter what our title is. We get to create our jobs—especially the story in our heads, the story we tell ourselves (and others) about our work. I went king crab fishing with a wonderful guy in Norway. In fact, I’m writing a travel story about it this week. His dad taught him when he was a small child how important it was to realize (and, of course, say) that he GETS to go to his job each day. Never HAS to.
Dr. Lopez asked the audience to clap if they’d ever rented a car. It was pretty unanimous. Then he asked, “How many of you have ever washed a rental car?’ Not a single clap was heard. And not just by the likes of me with the boom-boom-booming heart.
So here’s his point. You can either own your work (and that doesn’t necessarily mean being self-employed). Or you can react to your work. Same with our lives. We can design them how we want. Which, of course, starts with our mental landscape. Or we can keep peddling to someone else’s design.
Tell me in the comments section below how you’ve designed your work and your life. Even if you’re only starting today.
Pam Grout is the author of 17 books including E-Squared: 9 Do-it-Yourself Energy Experiments that Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality and the recently-released sequel, E-Cubed, 9 More Experiments that Prove Mirth, Magic and Merriment is your Full-time Gig.