This is the second part of a series of posts that I started last week. Each week will address a different self-evaluating question that I am using to help focus the direction of my time and energy.
Question 2 -What do I enjoy doing?
It seems to me that our culture seems to be stressing this one a little disproportionately lately. The truth is, some people don’t get to work jobs that are super-enjoyable, so I don’t want to put too much emphasis on this one question. But I’m not simply talking about where or how I’m going to make money, I’m talking about how I am going to invest my time and energy as a whole. And at least part of this needs to be determined by what I enjoy doing or it will greatly affect the quality of my life, my ability to be content, my stress level, my relationships, the list goes on and on.
You may really respect somebody who is a great manager, but if you stress out and get frustrated every time you have to make decisions and supervise people than maybe you shouldn’t be a manger. There may be other things that you could invest your time in that would enable you to feel less defeated at the end of the day and enable you to be more engaged and present for your family, which should be a bigger priority anyway.
Now, you could definitely take this too far, and I’ve known some people who have. Jumping from job to job and responsibility to responsibility, never seeing anything through to completion, simply because you “don’t love it” is not what I’m talking about here. Nothing is all fun, all the time. And there is a big difference between a job or task being fun and being something you can get joy from.
In Hebrews 12:2 we learn that Jesus endured the cross and all of the shame that came along with it, not out of duty or obligation but “for the joy set before him”. This doesn’t mean that the suffering was fun and enjoyable, only that the goal that would be accomplished through it brought him so much joy that he considered it worth the suffering.
There will be difficulties, obstacles and stressors in any path you choose. So, you can’t bail because you ran into something hard or unpleasant. But if you hate every step on that path and even the end of that path seems entirely unmotivating and unfulfilling to you then maybe you shouldn’t be on that path. Seems obvious, but it’s harder than it looks. Sometimes we are tempted to be a martyr and keep plugging away even though we hate it. But, honestly, if that’s the case you’re probably not doing awesome at it anyway. We tend to do better work when we enjoy what we’re doing.
And, again, this is just one question in a series of questions and isn’t really meant to stand alone.