During the Born for This tour, people would occasionally ask how you know when you have your dream job. It was an easy setup for a joke: “If you have to ask, ‘Am I happy?’ you probably aren’t.”
Still, even when you’re satisfied in your work, it’s nice to get reinforcement of that fact from time to time. There are several big and little signs that can provide that reinforcement:
- At the end of the day, you experience the feeling of knowing that today matters
- You work towards a long-term goal while still appreciating the present
- You generally look forward to the morning or whenever you begin your work
Here’s another one that I’ve been pondering lately. When you finish a task or project, do you experience a sense of accomplishment—or do you only feel relief?
For me, I know I’m in the flow zone when I wrap something up and then move on to the next one—sometimes right away and sometimes after a brief break, but never a long one.
There’s an old saying, “If you love your work, you’ll never work a day.” I think that’s a little overstated. You’ll probably end up with at least some days where you have to work on things you don’t love. And since when was “work” the enemy in the first place?
Still, the goal for me is that when I finish one project, I take on another. I experience the satisfaction of accomplishment, but I look forward to the process of building something else just as much.
So… what’s next?
Chris Guillebeau is the New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness of Pursuit, The $100 Startup, and other books. During a lifetime of self-employment, he visited every country in the world (193 in total) before his 35th birthday. Every summer in Portland, Oregon he hosts the World Domination Summit, a gathering of creative, remarkable people. His new book, Born for This, will help you find the work you were meant to do. Connect with Chris on Twitter, on his blog, or at your choice of worldwide airline lounge.
Image courtesy of Andy Beales.