When moving in and around Boston, I tend to always be looking at the scenery. The city skyline, the unique composition of the Zakim Bridge, the gold dome of the State House, and the spires pointing up from Beacon Hill, all overlooking the Charles… I could go on and on. When I see a particularly beautiful vantage point, I tend to say something like “This is my favorite view of the city”. Of course, I’ve said that about a lot of views around Boston.
Having heard me say this many times, when we are passing a particularly mundane view of the city, my wife will wrly ask, “So is this your favorite view?”
The thing is, she’s right. I’m guilty as charged. One can’t have multiple favorites — certainly not as many as the times I’ve uttered that phrase. But I can’t stop saying it. Why?
Because I love this city. It never gets old. There’s a pride I have in this place, not because I’ve contributed anything of particular value, or that there isn’t a lot of big problems needing to be solved, but because I get to be part of something special. Something bigger. I get to say I’m from Boston. That’s exciting to me.
It should be the same way for us with our work. We should all be able look at the work we do, the projects we contribute to, the companies that we are a part of, with the same sense of pride. Not because of what we have contributed, not glossing over the challenges at hand, but because we can say we are a part of something bigger.
Make sure you bring that sense of gratitude, pride, and wonder to work with you every day. Choose to find a “favorite view” in everything you do. And if you can’t see anything beautiful in your work, anything worthy of praise, I have a two-step suggestion.
First, examine yourself to see if it’s your attitude or mindset that is causing you to lose perspective. This is something we could all do better at.
Second, if you’re sure it’s not you, stop what you are doing and start looking for a new job — now. Go to work for a company that will inspire you, because of the people, the shared sense of purpose, and the beauty of the work itself.
Show up every day to a place that causes you to take notice of a particular aspect, attribute, or output of your collective work, and say with pride, “I get to be a part of that”.
Daniel Vogelzang is an independent consultant who lives in BOSTON. Well, technically, in the sleepy suburbs north of “Our Fair City”.
Daniel writes regularly and consults for clients ranging from local non-profits, to technology and finance giants. Learn more at danielvogelzang.com.