Whether you like it or not, how you feel about something is contagious. And it will indeed affect your bottom line and general happiness in this one life we have to live.

The Buddhist Boy Scout Syndrome

I think a lot of people believe that the pursuit of their dreams must be a terribly long and hard fought endeavor if their achievements are to mean anything. Suffering gives life meaning, as the Buddhists say, right?

How long does one have to wait for fulfillment though? Is there some age we hit, some milestone where work suddenly becomes fulfilling? And what if it starts out pleasurable, but over time loses its zest – do you trudge on? Does the drudgery of it slowly create some sort of Stockholm syndrome where we love work as our captor and fear the freedom of enjoyment?

If you’re doing what you love, it doesn’t feel like work.

Everybody knows this, but few actually live by the clichéd adage or realize they are, in fact, living the good life.

It’s like raising kids. Or being in a marriage. Running. Biking. Writing. Bird watching.

Let me explain.

With parenting – your goal is to be a good parent, and when you are, when you find that one certain toy Santa promised your kid at the seventh Target you’ve driven to within a hundred square mile radius on Christmas Eve, you feel good about yourself.

That concept is no different in business. When you make a sale, when you bring in a big client, when you believe in something few do and you fight for it to work, you’re rewarded in more than one way. Business isn’t always weighed in a monetary sense, People.

Be happy. Be proud. Go overboard.

I read a short fiction piece from the Paris Review the other day and I can’t get a line out of my head:

“It’s a crazy thing to say you’re going to stick with something until you die… You pick two or three things you feel that way about and life organizes itself for you.”
Nightblooming – Kenneth Calhoun.

I think that is really powerful advice. Don’t try to organize your life to meet your own, personal expectations and aspirations. That’s as irrational as it is impossible. Do what you love and work at it – even if it changes. Your life will fall into place how it’s supposed to.

You might not have the power to will things your way (or make a camp fire by rubbing sticks together), but remember, you’re at the helm of things. You’re running this show. If there’s an aspect of your business that you’re not happy with, you have the power to change it.

Victimization is a rarity.

Take control. Delegate. Outsource. Find a way to get it done and get back to loving what you’re doing. Some think it’s a badge of honor to power through those minuscule, tedious, absolutely droll kinds of tasks for decades upon decades, and it very well may be, but is it worth it? I certainly don’t think so.

Nobody’s keeping score here.

The most beneficial aspect to going overboard and playing full out is the impact you will have on your customers. If you are genuinely passionate about what you do, they will be able to feel that. That’s why we love Forrest Gump, right? But when a secretary picks up the phone and treats you like you’re a seven year old with a bad temper or a bank teller acts like you can’t do math, you leave their office dissatisfied.

Disappointed. Disgusted. Disheartened.

Genuine passion is one of the few things you can’t fabricate, reproduce, or streamline in business. An advertising agency isn’t going to be able to help you pull that angle off if you don’t believe in it. Only you can package it, shelve it, and sell it for exactly what you believe it’s worth.

It’s got to come from you.

Fall in love with the journey.

You have to make your own love.