When I was a sophomore in high school, my English teacher asked me to participate in a writing competition. I didn't realize it at that moment, but it was a highly selective writing competition--only 8 students out of my class of 1700 were asked to participate! One of my friends was also asked to participate, and for whatever reason, we felt the need to outdo the other. I asked another friend for advice, and his words were simple: write from the heart. Similarly, Seth Godin recently posted about competition as a crutch to bring out the best in a person. He argues that it is better to be in competition with yourself instead. I prefer to work from the heart.
Growing up, I never believed the wisdom "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life"--it seemed like a fairytale. And as much as I love my job, there are days when it feels like work. I've been reminded by a fellow consultant that we wouldn't have work if each gig was easy. Whether it feels like work or not, I try to work from the heart by focusing on the people around me, focusing on change, and improving as much as I can. I was pleased to see that Work Happy Now listed that the 3 things that made people happy at work are:
Working from the heart not only makes me happy, but it is also my goal to try and make others happier in their work. Rather than competing for promotions or job security, more people should focus on being genuine in their efforts--I've found that good things tend to follow good work.