Remember when you were little and you took for granted that you would get your dream job and be perfectly happy doing it? At some point, we all come to the realization that getting the dream job requires a lot of work and going through plenty of jobs that we never fantasized about doing. If we are lucky enough to spend our time doing what we love, we realize that after a while, the shine wears off and our dream becomes—ordinary.
When the luster is gone, what do you do with that once-loved activity? Do you keep on working mindlessly, churning out work without the passion that you once had? Do you quit and find something new? It’s easy to throw in the towel or turn into a robot without seriously examining the reason for your loss of joy. But since God is the one who gave us our talents and abilities, I think we need to do everything well and do it with passion. Anything worth doing is going to require some effort and endurance on our part. Here’s how to fight through the boredom and rediscover what you love about your work.
1. Examine your motive
Two questions to ask yourself: 1) Why did you originally start doing what you’re doing? and 2) What is your motive for doing it right now? Over time, it’s easy for our focus to shift from self-expression and bringing joy to others to making money or striving for success and recognition. There’s nothing wrong with making money or succeeding at what you do, but those things are not good motivations. You could make money doing any number of things—they reason you decided on one thing over another was (hopefully) because you were passionate about doing it and wanted to use your ability to contribute positively to the world. To be honest, I don’t think there’s a good motivation for anything if it isn’t passion and helping others—if you know of anything else that works, feel free to correct me! We were put here by God as expressions of himself, and each of us has certain gifts that, when used, display his work in our lives. If we begin to use those gifts for selfish gain, we’ll certainly lose the excitement we once had.
2. Take a break from “working”
A few weeks ago, I put away my computer and broke out my sketchbook, which had gone untouched for quite some time. Instead of trying to “be productive”, I relaxed and spent hours drawing and brainstorming. What happened was pretty amazing: I came up with a bunch of new designs and ideas, had a good time, and wasn’t stressing or worrying about how much I was accomplishing. It’s a win-win situation.
If you stop worrying about success and focus on loving and enjoying what you do, you’ll end up succeeding anyway.
I think that’s how God wired us to operate in the first place—to work at what he gave us and to enjoy it without worrying about the end result.
3. Endure and don’t give up
No matter how hard you work at staying motivated, there will always be times that you aren’t that excited about what you are doing. When those times come, remember the joy you felt when you first started and work your hardest for God—your passion will return eventually with more potency that before, and you’ll be even stronger for having endured the trial.