How to Turn a Job You Loathe into a Life You Love
In the course of my daily life I’m always on the lookout for inspirational stories from the real world that will help me communicate my message – the vital importance of work fulfilment, and I came across this little gem in a news feed from America. It’s a beauty, and I wanted to share it with you because it so clearly demonstrates the power of doing what you love and loving what you do.
One day a man walked into a barbershop, waited his turn, then sat down in the chair for his usual trim. The sprightly barber seemed close to, if not past, retirement age, so out of curiosity he said, “May I ask how old are you, sir?”
“Guess,” the man answered, with a playful twinkle in his eye.
“Are you… 70?”
“Surely you’re not 90?”
“No, I’m not.”
“Then how old are you?” asked the increasingly confused customer.
“I’m just 108.”
Follow Your Passion
The astonished man went on to ask more questions, and learned that Anthony began barbering in 1922 at the age of 11 in order to help his father support the family of 5 children. It began with necessity, but to his surprise he found that he was not only good at the job, he enjoyed doing it, and it became a passion he followed for the rest of the century and beyond.
Most people believe that the secret to a long and healthy life is a good diet, regular exercise, plenty of sleep, and not smoking. While all that certainly plays an important part, the most crucial element is often overlooked and misunderstood – the sustaining power of a life of purpose, sometimes called the raison d’être or reason to live.
Jane, the barbershop owner, said that Anthony never calls in sick, is always cheerful, and serves more clients in a day than the 20-year-olds she employs, who constantly complain of back and knee problems, don’t stay long, and are far less productive while they last.
Those who work solely to earn an income, despite being deeply dissatisfied with their career, will not bring themselves fully to their working day. They complain about their job and life, are regularly off ‘sick’, and are easily distracted because they’re not invested in the people they serve, don’t enjoy their work, and would rather be somewhere else.
This is definitely not the case for Anthony, because he knows that he is doing so much more than just cutting hair. Each day he fulfils his purpose by giving men the confidence to put their best foot and face forward to the world, lending a sympathetic ear to his clients’ troubles, and passing on his years of wisdom to the ‘youngsters’ (which to him is everyone) struggling with some aspect of life, be they son, father, or grandfather.
Anthony’s customers enjoy his company, ask for him specifically, and often wonder regretfully when he’ll retire. What they don’t realise is that he isn’t working, he’s doing what he loves, and when you achieve this retirement becomes irrelevant.
Thomas Edison said, “Find what you love to do and you’ll never work a day in your life.” and he and Anthony are living embodiments of the truth of that statement. If you want a long, healthy, and fulfilling career and existence, find what you love to do and then give your whole heart to it – you will receive far more than mere dollars in exchange for your precious life.
So when will Anthony stop cutting hair?
“When the good Lord calls me,” is his standard reply.
(Anthony was called on the 19th of September 2019, aged 108 – engaged and productive until the very end.)
Tony understands that over a long career, some form of dissatisfaction will inevitably arise. When that dissatisfaction lingers and runs deeper than mere job irritation, it will impact our physical and mental wellbeing, our energy and enthusiasm for life, and even our longevity. Connecting your daily work to an inspiring purpose is the vital key to a satisfying career, and meaningful life.
If you are deeply dissatisfied with your career and not sure where to turn for answers, book a consult to discuss your future – you have nothing to lose, and everything to gain.