Imagine if you walked through the door on the first day of your brand new job, and you were told that you would be working there for 45 years. How would that make you feel? Would you dread it? Would you be excited? Would you walk right back out?
The other night my dad was honored with a retirement party after spending 45 years as a professor, administrator, coach, and head of the drama department at Concordia University — Wisconsin. One of the things I admire about my dad’s 45 years at CUW, is that he made his career into something he really enjoyed. For the most part, he taught classes revolving around the literature he loved. Early in his career he coached teams revolving around the sports he loved. When he gained an interest in theater, he started a drama department at the school so that he could have another outlet involving something he loved. His love for travel was fulfilled when, as an administrator, he took advantage of traveling to various places in the world, helping to fulfill the mission of the university.
I never got the impression over all those years that my dad was burned out, or bored, or ready to move on to something “bigger and better.” He took what he had and made it into something special. He knew that in order to love what he was doing, he could do the things he loved. So that’s what he did.
When you feel as though you have reached a dead end in your career, creatively make ways to do the things you love. It all has to be done within parameters, of course; but I bet you could come up with ways to do the things you love…even within those parameters. It would make you happier. It would mean more productivity. It would bring a better attitude. It might even be contagious to those around you.
Creativity is often born within the realm of doing the things you love. Do what you love, and creativity will follow. Do what you love, and your career will undoubtedly advance. Do what you love, and your whole world will be a better place. Do what you love, and you may find yourself in the same place for 45 years, enjoying each and every day.
How can you create ways to do the things you love within your life as it now is? I’d love to hear your ideas!