Stop Boring Work!

I find it incredible how many people don’t enjoy their jobs!

I began doing massage nearly 40 years ago and I enjoy working almost every day! And on hard days I still have no question regarding the worth of what I am doing.

Boring work results from a mismatch of one’s abilities and the needs of the job. It can deprive one’s life of a sense of meaning.

What are your favorite abilities? When I was casting about for a career that I could be truly happy with, I used a book, What Color is Your Parachute?, to discover what they called one’s “favorite transferable skills”. These are skills you have, some of which may have been active in your play as a child, or as hobbies, in your social life, or in past work – but wherever they are from and whatever they are, they are the things you love to do.

I had loved playing guitar, I had wonderful experiences studying and playing music at the Old Town School of Folk Music during high school and later at University of Illinois where I majored in composition. I had worked as a night watchman, a record store salesman, a teacher of autistic children, a manager of a non-profit bookstore and cultural center, and as an activities assistant at a nursing home. I had been active in receiving and growing through counseling and receiving bodywork. I’d done martial arts.

So piece-by-piece I looked at my favorite skills and interests, the environments I had enjoyed in the past, my income needs, and the kinds of people I liked being around. And, over the course of a couple of months, I assembled this picture. Now I can remember, I was on a train going north from Chicago, that exact day and precise moment when I’d done all my exercises on these topics and the result was the thought, to my astonishment, “I guess I’m going to be a massage therapist!”

Part of this conclusion is I asked myself, “What can I do eight hours a day that will not be boring?” Often John Conway co-founder of our school has quoted from a poem by Marge Piercy at graduations, called “To Be of Use” and its last lines are:

“The pitcher cries for water to carry
 and a person for work that is real.”

If you want work that is real and massage feels right for you, then I say go for it! It is a healthy career for your body, mind and spirit and it makes other people healthier in their body, mind and spirit.

Whatever’s right for you, do it with you whole heart, body and mind. Your abilities will line up with your needs when you are in your realm of enthusiasm! Stop boring work and have work you love!