I read the very cheesy, mildly useful book “The Five Love Langauges” a few months ago. The basic premise is 2-fold: 1) everyone can be categorized into 1 of the 5 “love languages,” and 2) we all have a “love tank” that needs to be refilled so we can continute to power down life’s highway. By learning the language of those close to you, and especially your significant other, you can fill (or deplete) one’s love tank.
I was describing this to a friend the other day who said, “what if the same can be applied to a work “love-tank?” We thought about this for a minute and now I have some questions for you. What keeps you going in the work-place? How do you prevent burn-out? AND..how do you maintain strong passion for your job without falling into the category of “obsessive passion?” which is equally dangerous?
Here are some tips I’ve come up with over the years for keeping the work love-tank full:
1. First and foremost, it is essential to have a why, and don’t forget it! If you don’t have a why, get one.
2. Take short little trips completely away from your normal routine. Marvel at sometime completely different from your everyday. If you can’t do this, just talk to someone who is an expert or interested in something you don’t know anything about. I believe this was the idea behind writers of all backgrounds meeting in the cafes of Paris in the early century. Mashing different things together can be very revitalizing.
3. Assess your work environment. Is it supportive? Demoralizing? Is there an opportunity to communicate with your manager about what motivates you? Makes your day easier? Can you instigate improving the culture in your department?
4. Go to a super interesting conference in your area of interest with experts way smarter than you (my current dream conference is the99percent). This will help you remember you always have something to learn and dream big again.
5. Don’t ever take yourself too seriously.