Attitudes Towards Work Affect Gratitude for Work

Mar 6, 2017

By now you’ve probably figured out that something has changed.

A lot of us thought we would be a lot closer to being able to retire by now. But for many in their 50s and 60s, retirement isn’t exactly over the next hill.

In fact, there are a lot of people who will be waiting quite a while longer before they are able to retire.

But while you are waiting, consider the difference between waiting in line at Disney World or waiting in line at the drivers license bureau. Both involve waiting, but the sense of anticipation could not be more divergent.

One involves a sense of delight. The other involves a dull and dreary dread.

What is your attitude towards your work? And why do you have that attitude? Here are a few possibilities to consider:

I hate to work. People that are lazy hate their work. But so do people working in really lousy conditions. Or people who work for abusive bosses. So whether you hate your work because you are lazy or because you work in lousy conditions, the message is the same – it’s time for a change.

I have to work. This would be most of us. Not yet independently wealthy, you work for pay. This is true whether you love your work, hate your work or fall somewhere in between. You’ve got to work.

I used to work. That’s about all a person who is retired from a “have to” job can say about it – they used to do it. Most of the time they are glad that phase of life is behind them.

I get to work. If you can say this you are truly blessed. You love your work. You feel a sense of privilege to be able to do what you do where you do it and for whom you do it and with whom you do it.

Sometimes loving what you do just happens to you. You stumble across a job that is so delightful, so meaningful and so rewarding that you can’t wait to get there each day. That’s pretty rare.

Most of the time loving what you do is what you do to the job. You transform your work, not the other way around. You bring an attitude of gratitude to your work, transforming it and those around you. You work on your work…and it works.

I did my work. This is what a person who has retired from a “get to work” job says. The mission is finished and you can lay your tools down with a deep sense of accomplishment, knowing that you have finished a job well done. You were a blessing to yourself, to those for whom your work provided an income, to your co-workers and to the ultimate consumers of your work.

Yes, our unique economic circumstances will require lots of us to work lot longer than we’d ever imagined.

How you experience that extra time on the job…is largely up to you.