Today many of us view our work as a means to an end—a way to generate income to pay for what we need to live our lives and give us the things that make us happy. Conventional wisdom tells us that if we do what we love, all good things will follow. This might be true, but maybe fear or financial concerns and obligations might have kept us from taking a big risk. So we remain where we are, deeply disappointed and discontented. The good news is that in order to find happiness and satisfaction in your work, it isn’t necessary to quit your job, sell your home, and farm out the kids. In Work from the Inside Out, Nancy O’Hara shows us how we can find meaning in our jobs, and all we have to do is look within ourselves.
Most of us have to work these days. And maybe we envision work providing meaning to our lives, but somewhere along our career path our ideals were crushed and our expectations went unmet. Yet, the very fact that we had, or may even still have, expectations about our work is the reason we continue to experience disappointment. Becoming aware of and acknowledging those dashed expectations can be the perfect starting place for adopting a new outlook on work, or for returning to our youthful attitude toward work as something that can endow our lives with meaning. This is exactly what Work from the Inside Out examines, as Nancy O’Hara looks at how anticipation can turn into expectation, disappointment, anger, and pain. She also talks about how we can find meaning in our lives by paying close attention to three simple concepts: Simplicity, Compassion, and Patience. Keeping these words in the front of our minds will help move us toward work that fulfills and nourishes us. She tells us how to use these concepts as we face situations, problems, confusion, decisions, and confrontations, that we can take a deep breath and use them as mantras to work through our daily challenges and draw on them for courage, strength, and inspiration. Work from the Inside Out shows us that the key to mindfulness at work is existing in the moment and settling for the reward that lies in the very doing of each and every task, no matter how complex or mundane. Also, once we let go of the fear of losing what we have and the fear of not getting what we want, we will then intuitively know what choices to make and which situations to avoid simply by listening to our hearts. So rather than waiting to do what you love in order to be happy, be happy with what you’re doing and all the rest will fall into place.