Will Work for Happiness

When you were a little kid, what did you always dream of being when you grew up? When I wasn’t dreaming of becoming a professional ballerina, I was “playing school” with my best friend because I wanted to be just like the many teachers who had made a positive impact on me. When I stopped ballet, I was a freshman in high school and quickly realized college was now the path I was on. Leading up to that point, I had never spent a day thinking about what I wanted to study because the plan had always been to join a ballet company…but when faced with a new crossroad, law is what I found myself gravitate towards. I was great in English, I enjoyed my pre-law class, I went to States winning a handful of awards on my mock trial team and let’s be honest…every family needs a good attorney.

So it was set, I was going to be a lawyer one day. I did my research and learned law schools looked for diversity in undergraduate education outside of political science, so I decided to choose a major that kept my options open in case anything changed over the course of those four years. And good thing I did, because that is exactly what happened. I will spare you the story of how I changed my major five times in the business school, what I like to call my “mid-college life crisis”, but I most definitely owe a big thanks to Mr. Rollins of my BUS101 class who sealed the deal and convinced me I belong in business, along with Dr. Merhout who introduced me to Management Information Systems and was my biggest advocate for all of my academic and professional endeavors while in college. It is actually because of Dr. Merhout’s recommendation that I had the opportunity to interview for an internship for my current employer landing me a full-time offer, and the rest is history.

Ironically, I am writing this post when I should probably be doing some work. Not because I’m writing during work, but because we are in our “busy season” where the work doesn’t stop, but you have to know when to. I remember when I started my job after graduating college, I thought that life now was only about work. At least it seemed like that’s all there was time for. It took some time for me to adjust and figure out how to translate the BALANCE I managed to maintain between my classes, student organizations, and social life in college to the BALANCE I needed to achieve between work and well, everything else. This is when I learned we work to live, not the other way around, and sometimes people forget that.

In the other areas of my BALANCE equation, I have set out to increase my time and efforts there, but here it’s a little different because I feel it’s important to contain this area so that it doesn’t take away from the others. You also might have noticed that money is not in my BALANCE equation, but I thought it was most appropriate that I address it here since this is where I make the money. Have you ever heard that you won’t work a day of your life if you are doing what you love? Well that’s what I’m going for here. That’s because money’s motivation plateaus for me after you add up the value of everything else in your life. Sure, I love nice things just like the next person and I buy lottery tickets secretly hoping I win enough to pay off my student loans with one last lump sum payment, but when I thought about what matters most to me and makes me feel the most full, money didn’t make the cut.

If you asked me today what I want to be when I grow up, I couldn’t give you an answer. But I could describe to you the way I want to feel and the lifestyle I want to lead. It’s actually quite simple…Each day I would feel challenged and fulfilled from sharing my gifts and talents in a way that makes a difference. As far as lifestyle, one word…flexibility. Flexibility in time and flexibility in place to allow me to manage my workload and life by making decisions based on my personal and professional priorities. I believe this kind of flexibility not only helps you live better, but work better.

I currently work for a great company and feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to start my #career there, but I’m still figuring out what I want to be when I grow up. I’m not sure how long it will take, but when I get there I am confident I will just know. So this year is about keeping my mind open in search of making my heart full. I’ve learned work is where we spend the majority of our days, so it’s important to find happiness or fulfillment in what we do and enjoy the people we surround ourselves with. I do however, realize that sometimes work will be work so that’s why it is important to make time for and seek your passions on the side because you never know where they will take you and at the very least…they will help you feel satisfied along the way. So stay tuned till next time for #Passions&PastTimes…

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