Cultivate a Work Ethic

One of the most harmful ideas promoted in the 90s was “Follow Your Bliss.” It makes it seem like happiness is the reason for living and if your work doesn’t make you happy, you’re failing. You’re in the wrong job. You’re missing out. Maybe you’re even a sap for degrading yourself and settling for less. I won’t debate whether or not any of it’s true. I will challenge you to think about work ethic in a more Effective way.

So What’a a Strong Work Ethic?

Work ethic is a belief that work or service has a moral benefit and is a key component in strengthening character. Here are some of its components:

  • Attendance and punctuality – when you show up when you’re scheduled to, this reflects that you’re dependable and dedicated to the task. Others will find you more trustworthy.
  • Set and reach goals – this shows that your work is focused.
  • Positive attitude – work doesn’t have to be drudgery. You’re more likely to enjoy your work if you bring optimism with you.
  • Integrity – you do what you say you are going to do when you say you will do it. People can count on you. This brings stability to the table.
  • Responsibility – You’re dependable, fair, disciplined, and are more likely to turn out quality work.

Some Benefits of a Strong Work Ethic

  • Self esteem – people who feel work is important and have work to do are more likely to feel as if their life has purpose
  • More success – when you attain your goals, you become more highly skilled and have more accomplishments
  • More employable – the more skills and accomplishments you have, the more job opportunity you tend to have
  • Usually more money – effective work generally pays off in terms of making more money than your peers
  • Usually a more harmonious workplace. Dependability and a positive attitude is infectious.
  • Contentment. When we feel good about what we do, this makes us proud and satisfied.

What’s Bliss Got to Do With It?

When work is about making you happy, you’re not likely to find that. For one thing, happiness is an emotion. Emotions are transient. If we try to capture it by making something or someone responsible for giving it to us, we’re always going to fail. Emotions can’t be sustained indefinitely.

The other thing is, true contentment doesn’t come from somewhere outside of us. It comes from within. When you learn how to generate that from inside, you take it with you everywhere you go. It won’t matter what type of work you do, who you are with (if anyone), or where you are.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that what you do defines you. You are much more than that. All work is important work. Everything serves you, the environment, or the community in some way. Perhaps you make things more efficient. Maybe you help to keep a company functioning that employs lots of other people. Maybe you make people feel better or make a product that does that. Every job is needed and important. So don’t rely on your job to bring meaning to your life. Bring meaning to your job.

Here is a challenge for those of you who are not content with your work. Go to work every day with the belief that you are making a positive difference somehow. Also commit to maintain inner peace regardless of what is happening within the workplace for 30 days. When you get to the end of the 30 days doing both those things daily without fail, check in to see how much your job matters to your overall happiness. I am 100% sure that it won’t matter at all.

We all spend about 8 hours a day at work. We have to work to eat, have shelter, clothes, warmth, and safety. Isn’t it wise to approach that time with an attitude that is more likely to create contentment?

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