I volunteer locally, and have a mentor who invests time in helping me grow. He has the uncanny ability to get me to do more whenever I want to quit. I admire this skill, and wonder how he’s able to turn my frustrations into taking on more work every time. And I leave our conversations with a big smile on my face.
He told me that he knows how badly I want to make a contribution, to make a difference, to make things better. And he knows that if something pisses me off, the flip side is not to resist being pissed off, but to include it (not act it out, just include it) and get the job done anyway.
From what I can tell, he’s putting some t’ai chi spin on my frustrations and spinning it back at me with the opportunity to do even more good.
He recently shared this quote with me, something he picked up along the way that revolutionized the way he thinks about work — whether it’s paid work or volunteering. It explains his own personal philosophy for finding fulfillment in what he does, and helping others find it too:
DON’T LOOK FOR SATISFACTION IN WHAT YOU DO. BRING SATISFACTION TO WHAT YOU DO.
As he told me, “I love this line because it reminds me that it’s MY responsibility to create satisfaction for myself. If you look for satisfaction from a job, an event, or another person, you’re dependent on them. If you assume responsibility, you are no longer a feather in the wind, you ARE the wind.
So whatever your superpower is, whether it’s Fortune 500 sales skills, fabulous taste, your desire to help young Black women succeed, aging Boomers plan for retirement, entertain with your words or increase your clients’ range of motion, those wise words can be applied.
Bring your sense of satisfaction to what you do rather than look for satisfaction from what you do. Then take the superpower that is uniquely yours and find or create a workplace that lets you use it. If you walk in the door thrilled to make a difference, dammit — you will!
I look forward to hearing what you think of this idea, and better yet, how it goes when you implement it.
Thank you for reading!