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Passion Pays

Do you look forward to Monday morning? Are you raring to go back to work? Or are you a TGIF (Thank God it's Friday) kind of person who can't wait to get away from the job for a couple of days? You spend at least 8 hours a day at the job. That is almost 25% of your week. If you are a TGIF person you are missing something really important in your work life—passion.

by F. John Reh
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Thank God it's Monday

Do you look forward to Monday morning? Are you raring to go back to work? Or are you a TGIF (Thank God it's Friday) kind of person who can't wait to get away from the job for a couple of days? You spend at least 8 hours a day at the job. That is almost 25% of your week. If you are a TGIF person you are missing something really important in your work life—passion.

Being passionate about your job is more than the old adage "do what you love". It's looking forward to going to work. It's time flying by when you're there. It's working past quiting time, not because you're swamped with work, but because you were so intent you didn't notice the time.

When you are passionate about what you do for a living you enjoy it more. You also do it better. You are more committed to the success of the operation if you believe in it passionately.

Putting your passion to work

The trick is not just to feel passionately about your job, but to act passionately too. Use you passion to move projects ahead, to find innovative solutions to perplexing problems, to work through the interpersonal conflicts.

If you act passionately, you won't sit passively through another boring meeting. You can't. You will share that passion with the others in the meeting. Your energy can lift all of them. Even if it doesn't, you will feel better knowing you are doing something to advance the cause in which you believe passionately.

Passionate people get more done. They don't spend time worrying about what they have to do next. They don't scheme about how to get out of doing something. And they don't have to waste time dreaming about a vacation they want to take to get away from the job.

People who are passionate about their work do a better job. Since they care so much about the work, they don't settle for anything less than their best. They don't ever "just go through the motions." The pour all their thought and energy into doing the job well.

It's just a job, isn't it?

If you feel that work is just a job, you are wasting 40 or more hours a week of your life. You are shortchanging your employer who gets less than your best effort. You are shortchanging yourself by wasting time on routine or even drudgery instead of spending that time doing what you enjoy. You could, and should, spend those 40 hours instead doing something that makes you feel good.

Not convinced?

If you have ever had a job that you felt passionately about, you know what I mean. If you have never worked at a job like that, you may wonder just how valid these statements are. If that's the case, think about something away from work that you are passionate about. Maybe it's a hobby or a sport, an activity with a special group of friends or that quiet activity where you recharge your energies.

Ever miss dinner because you were shooting hoops and didn't notice how late it had gotten? Do you know the intensity and concentration you feel when you are working on your radio-controlled models? Have you ever wondered where the day went when you were antique hunting with your best friend? Those are the the passions we enjoy in our time away from work. You get the same charge when you work at a job you are passionate about. Try it and see if you don't agree.