Care About Your Work
In the last lesson I discussed the concept of work. For ease of discussion, I refer to work as any activity that requires attention to detail. This could be your daily business, prayer life, relationships, etc.
Real growth comes from integrating and applying both practical skills and positive attitudes to working and living. When we develop this integrated approach, using our working time as a training ground, our work is transformed into a dynamic learning process. As we pay attention to how we work, internal frustrations and confusion diminish. We come to know ourselves better and are able to turn negative situations into positive opportunities for growth. We create a new world for ourselves: though the problems of daily life still come up, we see them as ways to enhance and enrich our experience.
Frequently, when we are faced with difficult work, our minds put boundaries on what we can do, on what seems possible; anxiety and apprehension obstruct our efforts. But when we care for our work, our involvement leads to freedom from limitations. We no longer hold ourselves back; by carefully devoting ourselves to the task at hand, we transform the situation, making it sacred and this allows us to enter the spiritual dimension opening up other realms of possibility.
Just by changing our attitude and making up our minds with prayer and invocation of the Holy Spirit to think and act positive about our work, we find joy in performing our tasks with excellence, and working without internal obstructions. We are now working for the Lord and this brings us into the harmony of the moment, into harmony and balance with God's divine plan. We offer our work as loving service to the Lord. Then, even if tired, you will find you will open up new sources of energy. In fact, we can find renewed vitality by using our energy consistently. We all have this abundant energy; we simply need to learn to use it well.
For example during the late 1970's I was working on my brown-belt in Shodokan Karate. I had the great fortune of training with Sensei Koyama and even the head of Japanese Karate. During one summer, I was committed to training in the hot Arizona desert in an unconditioned traditional dojo (exercise hall) for four hours a day.
Sensei Koyama pushed us hard, very hard. His favorite saying in broken English was, "Work, work HARD! The harder you work, more energy comes!"
Strangely, I found that this was very true. Although sore and feeling like I had no more energy to punch or kick my way out of a wet paper bag, I would leave refreshed and recharged. The next day I would be pushed harder, but somehow had more energy to accomplish the training.
As we meet our goals, we discover that we have more time available. We are on top of things; able to master time's flow, to direct our energy efficiently. Work actually becomes pleasant and invigorating; we begin to care more and this care is rewarded in a positive cycle. Caring for our work, being really involved in it, is the secret of doing things well and of deriving satisfaction from whatever we do. When we care, an attitude of relaxed alertness nurtures and supports us. Our work becomes light and enjoyable, a source of deeper knowledge and inspiration. Work becomes life's pleasure, inspiring and filling us with energy, so precious that we are careful not to waste a single moment.
Copyright © 2003, B. Everett Schnell
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