So I just finished reading a pretty awesome book, Love does. It’s written by this guy, Bob Goff, who has lived an incredibly interesting life (Don’t worry this blog post is not a book review). The book is broken up in to 31 different chapters, each chapter being a short story about something Bob did in his life and what he learned from it.
Take for example Bobs attempt to get in to law school. On the morning of his LSAT, he heard other kids talking about which prep class they took to prepare for the big test. Bob didn’t know such classes existed and all he had done was read a 100-page LSAT prep book he picked up from a local bookstore. Long story short, Bob did terrible on the test, which meant he was rejected from every school he applied to, all 23 of them. What Bob did next was incredible. A week before his dream law school (University of San Diego) started, he decided to go to the school’s Dean’s office and ask the Dean to grant him admission. He was denied. So every day until school started, Bob sat outside the dean’s office and would simply say “Just tell me to go buy my books” each time the Dean walked by.
The first day of law school passed. Then the second, and the third. Bob sat in front of the Dean’s office every day, hoping his tenacity would get him in. On the last day, of the first week of law school, the Dean walked directly up to Bob and said four words that changed his life forever; “Go buy your books.”
Fast-forward to today. Bob is now one of the most reputable lawyers in the country, he serves as Honorary Consul for the Republic of Uganda, he teaches law at two different schools, he started a successful non-profit in Africa, and he has a hot-air balloon inside his living room. (fun fact: I’ve actually been to Bob’s Canada house as one of his best friends was a mentor of mine in San Diego)
In one of the chapters, Bob wrote something that turned my whole world upside down. He wrote, “Some time ago I stopped thinking about being a lawyer as a career. Instead, I think of it as just a day job. […] Now when I put on a suit and tie or jump on a plane to go do a deposition, my wife and I call it “fund-raising.”
Fund-raising! That is exactly what my job is. When I transferred from San Diego to Seattle last year I was miserable. I lived 1,200 miles away from my wife. I wasn’t involved in Young Life. And I didn’t have a big community of friends. All I did was work., and I caught myself becoming increasingly more frustrated with my job.
But then something funny happened. Girl Ninja moved up here. I moved out of my parents house. I got plugged in with Young Life. And we met new people. As my life became significantly more fun, my job became exponentially less sucky. I haven’t gone to work now in over a year and it’s been wonderful. Now when I’m assigned a new case, I don’t think of it as another task on my “to-do” list, but instead a step closer towards traveling to Costa Rica with Girl Ninja, or another opportunity to pay the summer camp fees for a high school kid in need.
Moral of the story: I like fund-raising, I hate working.
On a scale of one to ten how happy are you at your job? Do you think your happiness is ever affected by what you do during non-working hours?