I am very into music, quotes, and speeches. In the moments when I can’t find the words to express myself, they do it for me. One of my favorite speeches, and one I believe to be extraordinarily powerful is Steve Jobs’ key note speech from Stanford’s commencement ceremony in 2005. He talks a lot about making decisions by following your heart, and knowing whats right for you. And he is clear and concise in a way that many are not. This is one of my favorite quotes from the speech…
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.”
I’ve read and reread this quote for many years but in the back of my mind was always the thought that work is not necessarily something you’ll love, but rather a means to live. This is not to say that I was not proud of where I was working, and that I did not like the people I worked with- because I take so much pride in the positions I’ve held, and I made some amazing friends in my first few jobs. However, I did not love what I did. When I was struggling with my weight though, it was hard to see past that struggle to the others. The need to lose weight was all consuming, so I didn’t really notice how the other things that needed to change in my life were affecting me.
About four months and forty pounds into my weight loss I began to feel the weight of not really loving what I was doing every day. It was a struggle to get out of bed to go to work, and I wasn’t feeling challenged while I was there. I was starting to feel so happy in the rest of my life, yet my job- which consumed so much of my days, was not making me happy at all. And let me just say, I am aware that work will not be great every day… but another part of Steve Job’s speech was really resonating with me…
“I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’, for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”
The answer had been no for too many days in a row, so I started interviewing. I learned a lot about myself while I went through grueling interview processes at not one but two companies. I learned that I had gained a confidence through exercising and getting healthy that I did not previously have- and this made interviewing so much easier. I learned that the same people who supported me every day throughout my weight loss journey, would support me through this one as well. And I learned that when I want something, I should go after it, because many times, when you put your all into something, you do get it.
Looking back on it now, I realize that the next thing that happened was life telling me that I was making he right decision looking for a new job. But that didn’t make it any easier when I learned that I was going to have to leave my old one. I would have much preferred it to have been on my terms.
So much good came out of having to leave my old job for my new one. First and foremost, it allowed me to work at an amazing company where I do believe that what I’m doing is great work, there is never a morning I struggle to get out of bed, and the people I work with are inspiring, kind, smart and genuine. Second, the time I had off between jobs allowed me to spend time with some of my closest friends that I would not have had that time for otherwise. Third, I learned a lot about myself, and my ability to overcome a struggle.
While it would have been easy to use my month off in between jobs to sleep in, and hang out, I used it to get up early, and get into the best shape of my life. This is not what the person I was five months prior would have done. That person would have watched endless shows on Netflix and spent far too much time eating.
This change is such a huge part of how I got here, because it has added to my happiness exponentially. I cannot imagine my old job being a part of my new life, and I am so looking forward to seeing all of the potential and the greatness that lies within this new one.
I hope you all have a great week ahead. Look for this Wednesday’s blog, it will be all about the Tri Sprint!