Focus on the positive

Dear Maggie,

I’m really unhappy in my job. It’s the same old drudgery, day in and day out. Boring work, that doesn’t seem to mean a lot. I do a good job, but so could a trained monkey. I don’t feel like my skills are appreciated, but then again, what’s to appreciate about what I’m doing? Like I said, anyone could do it. So I get up dreading going to work, and spend the day wishing I were somewhere else, and go home depressed that I know I have to go back again the next day. I love your messages (both here and on your website and blog) about being positive and making your own happiness, but how do you do that when you’re forced to spend your days doing something you hate? In this economy, I can’t quit. The pay and the insurance are too good and I have children to support. What would you do if you were in my shoes?


Unhappily Employed

Dear Happily Employed,

(See what I did there?)

Okay, so you wrote me this note and in it, you pointed out all the negative things about your job, but as you got to the end, you found two positive things to say about it. It pays well and the insurance is good. Those are two very important things.

If I were in your shoes, I’d stop focusing on all my gripes about the job and start focusing on the positive things about it. And I’d start looking for more things to like about it, and adding those to my focus as well. I’d totally stop myself every time I caught myself complaining, outloud or in my head, about my job.

When you tell the same story over and over, it becomes your reality. The current story you’re telling is that you are stuck in a job you hate. That’s probably your main topic of conversation with everyone you know—how much you hate your job and how you can’t possibly leave it. If you want to have a new reality, you first need to begin telling a new story.

“My job is easy to do. I can do it so effortlessly that it leaves my mind free to wander anywhere I like during the day. My job pays really well, and I love that I have health insurance. My jobs supports my kids, and what is more important than that?”

That’s what you’ve got so far. Now start adding to it. Find things to add to your day that you love and enjoy, or even like a little bit and enjoy. A special way to enjoy lunch breaks, a friend at work you enjoy being with, an ongoing game of trying to outdo some other employee with a daily joke or gag, anything to make it a bit more pleasant to go to work. You need to eliminate the griping and complaining from your reality. It has to cease to exist.

As you begin feeling happier and better, (and you will almost instantly if you focus only on the good and ignore the the bad and stop complaining) you will move yourself into a good, positive place, and you can then begin expecting positive things to happen. And one of those positive things will inevitably be a more pleasant job appearing on the horizon for you. Because of having a job you’ve disliked, you’ve created a better one for yourself just by wanting it so badly. But it can’t come to you while you’re still focused on hating the job you have. In can only come to you when you are really and truly happy where you are. And then, bam! You’ll have it.

So try this out and see if you get results. (You will.) And then let me know!

And don’t buy into that talk about “this economy.” A whole lot of people are going to make a whole lot of money during “this economy.” There’s no reason you can’t be one of them—unless you believe the hype.

Good luck, and happy new year!!!!


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