6 ways to find joy at your job

If you’re like me, your job doesn’t excite you much. Long hours of monotonous tasks make you excited about only one thing. Leaving. Perhaps the job you’re in right now is just a stepping stone to something better. For most of us, we are working towards a career in something we’re passionate about, something we’ll enjoy doing every minute between eight and five. For others, the career choice they made is now being regretted and they want a change. But in the meantime, there is work to be done at our current jobs and there is s joy to be had in each one. Take a look at these tips to find out how you can have more satisfaction joy at work.

 Stay well rested

This may seem off topic but it’s actually very important. The job you have may not be great but your attitude toward it will help determine how much you enjoy it.  9 times out of 10 when I’m having a bad day at work, it is because I’m tired and I’d rather be sleeping. My energy often takes a downturn halfway through the day and with that also goes my attitude.

Nothing ruins motivation and mood like fatigue.

Have you ever gotten up in the middle of the night to work out? Imagine rolling out of bed, eyes still halfway shut, and doing pushups next to your bed. There would not be a single ounce of motivation inside of you to do it, and if you actually did get out of bed then you’d be questioning why that decision was made in the first place. Of course, you’ve probably never done this because sleep time and workout time are not meant to be intertwined.  They are separate for a reason and it’s the same with your job.

I used to work in the food industry. Every day at the end of my shift I felt like I got hit by a bus. I was so exhausted. But I would only hit that wall of exhaustion by the end of my shift, and it didn’t matter by that point because I was headed home to rest. At this time of my life, I was also in school. During finals week, I was up until 3 in the morning every night studying for my exams. I faced a harsh reality during this week — it was actually quite obvious but I’d just never considered it before. Two or three hours into my shifts, I would hit that wall of exhaustion. I wanted more than anything to sit down and take a break but obviously, I couldn’t do that. I still had two or three hours left on my shift.

This might have been the worst week I ever had working there. I’d go home and almost fall asleep immediately after plopping on the couch. In this specific situation, my discontent at work was caused by my lack energy which I’d already put towards studying for finals. But this wasn’t the only week I ever had like that. Other weeks, the shrinking threshold of my exhaustion window was self-inflicted, caused by staying out all night with friends or watching Netflix until I physically couldn’t stay awake. These times I could’ve easily avoided it and I certainly would’ve enjoyed my work more.

Don’t sacrifice sleep at night for a positive attitude during the workday.

Baby steps

For many people, their current job is merely an income until their dream career is attained. But a secure income stream from the wrong job is a danger to dreams. We can easily be overcome by complacency when working an everyday job– and although the work may be dissatisfying, a secure paycheck that satisfies the bills can be captivating.

If you have a dream job, do not stop working towards it until you reach it. Some days will be tougher than others; it may even seem completely out of reach sometimes. In those times, you must remember to take baby steps. Even just 10 minutes a day working towards your dream job is beneficial in the long run.

For example, say your ideal job is to be a software programmer for Google. All of your free time, saving family and recreation time should be applied towards learning more about that topic. Spend as much time as you can healthily spare — even if it’s just 10 minutes a day — learning different coding languages and mastering your skills. Not a lot of progress will be made in one week, but by week 30 your programming abilities will have developed considerably. Eventually, the skill you spent 10 minutes a day working on will become polished enough to land you a position at Google.

The time factor here is different in all situations. It could be 5 weeks or 5 years. It may be that your dream job is incredibly difficult to achieve and each step seems impossible, but remember — if you take a single step every day, eventually you will move a mile.

Be a leader

A common problem I see with those who are discontent with their work is a lack of involvement. They are disconnected with many facets, including the social aspect of their work environment. Being dedicated to a job means doing every task to the best of your ability and committing yourself to the wellbeing of the other employees. If you’ve worked with someone for months and you still don’t know them very well, there is a problem. You might think to become a leader entails more responsibilities, and maybe so. If the supervisor notices your effort they may decide to give you more daily tasks — which often comes with increased pay. Do not shy away from this, as more responsibility is always better than less in the long run. Refrain, to the best of your ability, from complaining about your job; speaking ill of your situation will only deteriorate your desire for work and cause further discontent.

Even if your work is very basic or entry level, investing in the job will undoubtedly spur your interest at least to the point where you can do your work with joy. Nobody likes a gloomy fellow employee or boss, so be the upbeat energy to the workplace that may be needed. Never pass up an opportunity to help a fellow worker in need because that will bring you the most joy.

Always give yourself something to look forward to

When working at a job where you often contemplate leaving, a great encouragement is being able to think about something you get to do when you’re off work. An incentive of some kind like seeing a movie with friends or going on a weekend trip will do wonders in raising your spirits. Some days, merely getting through the workday is an extreme task. Perhaps you would do well with daily incentives to get you through. I always found that a big weekly incentive helped provide me a better mood while I was working through a tough week.

Let me be clear, this incentive should not be the only thing that gives you any joy throughout the day — even if your job is scrubbing bathroom floors. This should simply be a motivation to get you through the toughest tasks, the lowest lows of the week.

Make yourself feel at home

If at all possible in your job, it’s a great idea to decorate your workspace with objects that reflect your personality. For example, if you love star wars, put a Darth Vader bobblehead on your desk. By personalizing your area, you create a space where you feel comfortable and can easily reflect on things you enjoy when you’re completing

a task you don’t enjoy. Always take some time out of your day, whether it’s at lunch or otherwise, to sit and think about those things surrounding your workspace. This approach isn’t necessarily about showing off your stuff to others, but rather giving yourself a sense of identity at a job that may seem to detract it.

Write it down

Throughout the workday, you may have times where you begin to feel stressed beyond your limit. Perhaps something happened that took away your joy and motivation for the day. On days like this, I encourage you to — upon getting home —  get a journal and write down everything. All of it. Just write it down and get it all out of your head. The more we dwell on negative things the more they eat away at us. Take some time — even just 10 minutes — and get it all out of your system. The anger, fear, sadness, and stress can all be expressed on a page. Writing it down gets it out of your brain’s compartment where it holds worries and stresses.

Maybe just write down something you are thankful for at work. It might be a co-worker that you enjoy being around or maybe a certain task you get to do. Find the good in your day and write it down. When you are having a tough time, go back and read what you wrote to help you lift your spirits.

Not every job will be able to apply every one of these, but try a few of them to gauge their effect on your workday. Overall, just remember to love and care for the people around you, and always count them as more significant than yourself.

Tell me in the comments about your work situation. What are you going to do about it?

13 most thought-provoking quotes from fictional characters

Sometimes the most relatable characters, the most meaningful lines, and the most eye-opening stories are fictional. The writers of these lines did an incredible job of bringing their stories to life and connecting with their audience through thought-provoking nuggets of wisdom. For each of these, consider what the writer is saying and think about how it can apply to your life.

 

  1. “If you’re dumb, surround yourself with smart people. And if you’re smart, surround yourself with smart people who disagree with you.”

– Isaac Jaffe, Sports Night

  1. “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”

– Winnie the Pooh

 

  1. “It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not a weakness; that is life”

– Jean-Luc Picard

 

  1. “Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgment. For even the very wise cannot see all ends.”

-Gandalf

 

  1. If you look for the light, you can often find it. But if you look for the dark, that is all you will ever see.

-Uncle Iroh

 

  1. “When we hit our lowest point, we are open to the greatest change”. – Aang.

 

  1. ‘Can a man still be brave if he’s afraid?’ ‘That is the only time a man can be brave,’ his father told him.”

A Game of Thrones – George R.R. Martin

 

  1. “You waste time trying to get people to love you, you’ll end up the most popular dead man in town.”

– Ser Bronn of the Blackwater

 

  1. “I survived because the fire inside me burned brighter than the fire around me”

– Joshua Graham from Fallout: New Vegas.

 

  1. “Never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armor, and it can never be used to hurt you.”

-Tyrion Lannister

 

  1. “You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.”

-Harvey Dent, The Dark Knight (2008)

 

  1. “There are three things all wise men fear: the sea in storm, a night with no moon, and the anger of a gentle man.”

– Kvothe in The Wise Man’s Fear

 

  1. “I know what you would say, and it would sound like wisdom but for the warning in my heart.”

-Frodo

Bonus quote for laughs:

  1. “You Miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take” – Wayne Gretzky – Michael Scott.

What are some other meaningful quotes you know from fictional characters?

How do you define success?

What is a life that has been completed? What is a future that has been fulfilled? I could sail across the world and see all that has been built. But when my life begins to wither and my legacy start to melt, I wonder as I look to heaven “Will I even last myself”?

I live in America. The land of opportunity and home to the fearless.

Or is it the land of the greedy and home to the narcissist? I think that is for all of us to decide ourselves.

Either way, this is a capitalist society where the ultimate goal, the “American Dream” as we call it is financial prosperity. This society revolves completely around money. We look for any and every way to get it because we love it that much.

But consider this.

Prosperity corrupts good character. The love of money makes a humble person greedy, and the possession of money makes a trustworthy person untrustworthy. Opportunity turns to greed and freedom turns to slavery.

This is the cycle. The sad thing is so many get trapped in it and so little find their way out. Is there even a way out?

Well, allow me to suggest something else.

The American Dream is wrong(or simply misinterpreted). The way we view prosperity is wrong.  Money is not the end goal on the road to success.

No, I believe success to be something very different. Something you cannot hold in your hand or use to get ice cream on a summer afternoon.

The byproducts of success should not be your own satisfaction and prosperity, but the joy and love you show to others. Because if you are truly succeeding, you won’t be the only one impacted.

Do you want to lead a meaningful life? Do you wish to be successful? Well first, you must know how success is measured. It is not calculated by the amount of dollars you give away, or even the amount of hours you spend doing humanitarian work.

No, it is defined by the way you love.

Let me explain.

Love is not the feeling a player has toward his sport. If it were, he would expect no salary.  People who say they love their cars do not really love their cars. Because if it stopped running one day, they would simply find other means of travel.

What is the one thing that doesn’t envy? Love

What is the one thing that expects absolutely nothing in return? Love

What is the one thing that will outlast every single one of us? Love

When a family member gets sick, do you give up on them? Of course not! You join their fight and encourage them until the day their time is up.

That is love.

And what can fill the void that loved one left? Nothing really.

Because love is unique. It provides a satisfaction that nothing else can. Not money. Not fame. Not your legacy.

Imagine this. You have a bag of apples but only one is left. After this, you will never be able to eat anything ever again. You look up and see a man who is alone and obviously hungry, so you decide to approach this man and give him your apple to eat. That is love.

But what makes love different?

It’s simple. Love has an eternal award.

I will leave you with these words.

 One day when you find yourself with one last breath, just a few seconds left, I guarantee your wish won’t be one last dollar to spend. It’ll be one last evening with your family and friends or one more apple to give to that man. Then your fear of death will fade away as you remember the words they used to say, “there is no fear in love, my death won’t be in vain.”

The cure to insomnia is sitting in the sky

 

Modern times have ushered forth some new and very exciting prizes. Camera’s, iPhones, digital music, online payment, TV’s, microwaves, etc. But one thing modern times has not unlocked is the cure to insomnia. Yes, there are chemical supplements available to knock you out whenever you wish, but these aren’t always very reliable.

Let’s take melatonin for example. I’ll take melatonin before bed every night for a month. The first night I fall right asleep and stay asleep all night. But by day 30, my body has become accustomed to the drug and it no longer has the same effectiveness.

Then I try a new drug, and then another one, and another one. Not only is this ineffective but it’s also incredibly frustrating. If only I could gaze into the sky and find an arrant solution to my problem.

Oh, wait.

For all who have come here searching for the end to your sleep problems, I will tell you that your answer could indeed be in the stars. It seems absurd that the cure for your nighttime sleeping problems is only available during the day, but hear me out.

Biological clock

Also called the circadian clock, this bodily instrument tells your body when it’s time to wake up and when it’s time to sleep. Exposure to sunlight early in the morning (between 6:30 and 8:30 am) will work to reset your clock so you wake up and go to sleep at strict intervals. By lying in bed restless every night, you are losing a lot of sleep you might not be able to get back. Most people have to get up for jobs in the morning which help set their circadian clock. It’s not that easy though. Many behaviors contribute to how our clock is functioning. For example, how late do you stay up on the weekends?

If the answer is 2 or 3 am, you could be messing up your body clock for during the week.

By going to sleep late every night — or getting up late, you cause your body to undergo what is called “drift”. To counter this drift, you need to expose yourself to as much natural sunlight as possible in the morning. Artificial lights(any light that is not the sun) will not have the same effect.

Let me give you an example from my own experience.

Experiment

For two years I worked in an office with no windows — aka no natural sunlight. Many nights I would stay up late — mostly doing homework — but my body clock would not reset when I awoke in the morning. Over that time, I began to experience restlessness whilst trying to sleep which eventually progressed into habitual sleeplessness (aka insomnia). One summer, I took a trip to a country where I was outside in the sun all the time.  For two weeks, I spent very little time indoors and absorbed more vitamin D than I did in months back home. I slept very well those two weeks, and I attributed that to the weariness I experienced from being in the sun all day. However, when I got back I noticed how much quicker and easier I would fall asleep.

Now fast forward to now — I still fall asleep quite easily. But why is that? Certainly two weeks in another country didn’t magically cure me.

Upon returning, I naturally began settling back into my old routine. And over those next few weeks, I noticed that same restlessness starting to creep back in before I went to sleep. With an idea of what might be causing it, I decided to do a little experiment.

Every day upon waking up I would go outside and sit in the sun. This happened before anything else in my entire day — even before I ate breakfast. I had to work it into my schedule to wake up a bit earlier for this, but the results made it worthwhile. I’d relax outside for 15-30 minutes each time and then go about my day like normal.  If it was a cloudy day, I would take a short walk for the same amount of time. The objective was to get as much direct sunlight as possible in the morning, resetting my circadian clock to compensate for my late bedtime. After a week of this experiment, there were obvious improvements in my dozing off-speed as well as my quality of sleep through the night. And the best thing was — I stopped waking up absolutely exhausted. It was an awesome feeling.

My conclusion is we are meant to get up with the sun and go back to sleep when the sun disappears. This experiment is clear biological evidence of that.

If you’re hassled by sleeplessness, think in terms of how your circadian clock is working. Determine how much you are sleeping, how well, and when. Then try this experiment for yourself and watch your clock correct itself using the most natural approach to insomnia there is.

Feel free to attempt this experiment yourself and comment your results!

Subscribe below for updates!

5 tips to remember your dreams tonight

Dreams are such a mystery. They come and go, night after night, with little to no recollection of their contents or significance. Everyone dreams, but not everyone remembers what their dreams were about. What would happen if we started to remember the things we dream about? What experiences would we have? Would we learn more about ourselves, or would we simply open up another door to an exceedingly vast sphere of mystery? I guess you never know unless you try.

Here are 5 tips to remember your dreams more clearly tonight:

1. Sleep More

This may sound obvious, but there is research that backs it. On average, we dream 4-6 times each night. The y can be long or short, detailed or dull. The goal of dream recall is to remember more of the details to even the dull dreams.

 

After 8 hours of sleep, we often experience up to 45 minutes of dreaming. That’s why we often have long and detailed dreams right before we wake up. Our minds are most likely to have dreams when we enter REM(rapid eye movement sleep). In the last minutes before we wake up, our body has entered a very deep REM cycle that prompts some awesome dreams.

Most people don’t get 8 hours of sleep every night. I don’t either. But if you want to have more REM cycles, you need to sleep more. It’s that simple.

 

2. Wake up in the middle of the night

Set an alarm for 5 hours after you go to sleep. You’re first REM cycle typically starts 4.5 hours after you actually fall asleep — so you should have gotten a solid 30 minutes of quality dreaming in. When you wake up, immediately start recalling what you remember. Take note of images, colors, sounds — and especially dialogue. The more you intentionally recall your dream details, the better you train your brain to do it naturally. Researchers suggest it’s easier to remember a dream when we wake up directly from it. This means that more often than not, you’ll be waking up in the middle of the night.

I know what you’re thinking — that sounds achingly unattractive. Who wants to disrupt a good night sleep halfway through? I understand.

But if you are serious about digging into your subconscious and remembering your dreams, you’re going to have to get a little uncomfortable.

3. Write it down

I’m sure you’ve heard of a dream journal. Many people do it simply because they love journaling, and their dreams give them something to journal about. But the main purpose of writing down your dreams is so that you can refer back to it later. Referring back to past dreams could help produce some reoccurring ones. Dreams that replay over and over again — or have a recurring aspect — are easily identified by the dreamer, making them a key piece in recalling dreams.

Keep pen and paper next to your bed. When you wake up from a dream — either in the middle of the night or in the morning — write down everything you remember about that dream. And I mean EVERYTHING. Where were you? What were you doing? Who was there? Try to recall specifics and rebuild the dream again in your head and on paper.  You can even take it a step further and write down specific things from your dreams on your bathroom mirror, in your car, or on the ceiling above your bed.

If you want, you can work on your memory recalling skills by remembering things you did in the waking day. Write down what you ate for breakfast or what color your best friends lunchbox was. Recreate real-life situations on paper, and you will learn to do the same thing with your dreams.

 

4. Instruct your brain to remember your dreams

When you lie in bed at night, your brain is playing a slideshow of the day’s activities. It makes a note of everything you’ve gotten done during the day and puts more things on the to-do list. What you want to do is put ‘remember my dreams’ on the night’s to-do list.

It turns out that our subconscious minds are highly suggestive. While you are drifting off, repeat something like “I remember all my dreams” over and over again. Use the present tense — instead of saying something like “I recalled my dream yesterday” — because you’re trying to convince your mind to think a certain way.

What this does is send a command to your brain instructing it to remember the dreams you have. And while you won’t be consciously remembering, your subconscious will hear the command too and act accordingly. It sounds quite elementary, I know, but it works!

 

5. Don’t drink alcohol or caffeine before sleep

As you can guess, these depressants — or stimulants — restrain your body from entering REM sleep, the type of sleep where dreams occur most frequently. Alcohol can also suppress your memory which will obviously affect your dream recall. If you can avoid coffee or alcohol for the entire day, that would be ideal. But if you can’t go without and still want to remember some dreams, just make sure it’s been 8 or so hours since the last sip. For more on how coffee affects your dreams, check out my other post: How does caffeine affect dreams?

Remembering your dreams isn’t an easy task. That’s probably why you looked up how.

Try using all of these tips collectively and watch the dreams start flooding in like the Mill River:)

Also, make sure to comment and tell me how they worked for you!