Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work. – Aristotle
What does that mean?
When you are enjoying what you are doing, you tend to do a little better work than when you don’t. Perhaps you work a little longer, pay a little more attention to the details. It may not be exactly perfection in each case, but it is certainly better than average.
Think back to some of the jobs you really didn’t like. How much effort did you put into those tasks? Was your goal to achieve perfection, do a good job, or just do the absolute minimum necessary? Yeah, that’s what I thought, and I did about the same.
This quote, to me, is about the difference between just doing the minimum, whether because you’re indifferent or dislike it, and doing your best because you really like doing it. It is about enjoying what you do, and doing what you enjoy.
Why is enjoying your job important?
Can you imagine doing something you considered unpleasant for 40 or 50 years? That sounds pretty bad to me, how does it sound to you? While some people survive living just such a life, imagine how much more fulfilling a life they could have lived if they were doing something they enjoyed.
Then consider how much fun they would be to hang around. So if they enjoyed what they did, their live and your life would both be better. Now consider where they worked. How much better the product would have been, had they been enjoying themselves?
What about the customers, how much happier would they have been? How much better would everyone’s life, from co-workers to bosses, customers to friends and family, if the worker actually enjoyed their work, as opposed to despising, or at least hating it?
Does that answer the question sufficiently? I hope so.
Where can I apply this in my life?
Start out by putting yourself in the paragraphs above. How does your present job measure up? What about each of your prior jobs? How do any of them rank on the satisfaction scale? Which of them were closer to the ‘a pleasure’ end of the spectrum or was it closer to the ‘worst thing ever’ end?
Now consider how different the effort was between the jobs you liked and the jobs you despised. Does the quote have a little more meaning to you in this perspective? I know it did for me when I did this exercise and considered some of my past jobs.
With all this in your head, where do we go from here? As we are starting a new year, I thought it might be useful to consider how happy you might be in the upcoming year at work. For those out of work, this might help you direct yourself towards doing something you will truly enjoy.
Is there a pattern that you can detect in either the things you liked or the things you disliked? I seem to dislike repetitive or mindless activity, and like things that are challenging to do, whether it be a physical challenge or a mental one.
By getting an idea about what you do or don’t like, you can help find something you might enjoy doing more than your present job. That doesn’t mean quitting. In one case, I managed to get ‘transferred’ from washing dishes (boring) to setting up banquets (much more challenging).
The pay wasn’t much better, but the challenge to figure out how to arrange the tables and line them up in a very short period of time was quite an enjoyable task. And I didn’t have to find a new job. What might you be able to do in a different area at your present employer?
Now that we have an idea about what you want, how do you convince your employer, or a new employer, that you are the person for that job? Do you have any similar experience? Do you have enthusiasm? Can you show them something you have done that is applicable to the new job?
The basic thought is to try to get them to give you a chance to show them that you can do what they need done, and that you’ll do a great job because you have both talent and an interest in the work. You might even mention the quote, that you’ll enjoy doing it so much you’ll do a great job!
Who knows, it might work. But one thing I do know, it isn’t fun having a job you hate. The point is to try to figure out what you enjoy, then pursue it. It’s certainly worth a try!
From: Twitter, @thequote
confirmed at : http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/a/aristotle377765.html
Photo by Denish C