Photo Credit: Nick Karvounis, Unsplash
Is it really possible? Can you REALLY love what you do?
I know I'm a bit of an idealist (okay more than a bit).
And yes, I have this crazy belief we were wired to do something we will enjoy, and we can and should be doing it. We don't have to spend such a huge chunk of our lives doing something we hate ‘just to pay the bills'.
But I get it. It can seem like pie-in-the-sky, magical thinking. It's a great idea, but does it work in real life?
I even wonder myself sometimes.
Then I meet someone like Norman.
I met Norman the other day on a plane.
Now, I've spent a lot of time on planes. I used to live overseas and have traveled to a number of countries. But for the past six months, I've spent an unusually large amount of time on them as I've been flying back and forth to Kansas City for training. I knew I would be doing a lot of traveling, so I decided to pick an airline so my miles counted for something. I chose Southwest.
This isn't a commercial for Southwest, but I must say my experiences with them have been amazing. The employees are friendly and helpful. You can tell they truly enjoy working there.
So this makes my experience with Norman even more remarkable.
He was particularly, exceptionally friendly.
(and like I say, that's saying a lot considering how great everyone already is).
For example, I watched him take the drink orders of the people in the rows in front of me.
Every time someone said, ‘no thanks'. Instead of just smiling and moving on, he would say, ‘Let me know if you change your mind' (One person even did right then).
Now, I try, whenever possible to find something encouraging to say to people I meet at the cash register, the server at my table, etc.
Norman made me it easy.
As he was picking up our final trash, I said to him, ‘You do a great job.'
He smiled and said, ‘Thanks!'
Then he added..
‘Haven't worked a day yet. It's an easy job.'
Okay, it's true, he's not a surgeon or an accountant. He's serving drinks and peanuts and making sure we're safe.
But I was a server for a season in my life. It can be a challenging job. People can be impatient and demanding and mean.
Add to that, turbulence. Constant change of air pressure. Constant change of time zones. Cleaning up smashed peanuts (and air sick bags).
He could have found plenty to get annoyed with. But you could tell he loved what he did.
He loved serving people. He loved travel. He was totally in his element.
I don't know, but I imagine he dreamed of being an airline steward since he was a kid.
And instead of just wishing and hoping, he did the hard work of making it happen.
Now he's living his dream job.
I'm sure there are tough days, but he doesn't let it define his career. He continues to say, ‘Haven't worked a day in my life. It's an easy job.'
Norman proves to me, it's possible. You really CAN love what you do.
And if you don't, I want to challenge you to either find a way to start loving it, or find something else to do.
Life's too short for anything else.
(and if you want some help finding and fulfilling your purpose, come join us here)
Thank you Norman for loving your job and making a difference in the world… and in the air waves.
You are an inspiration to us all.
I am a CreativeWorldChanger. You are too.