Jim Murray

2 years ago · 3 min. reading time · visibility 0 ·

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Part 5. The Happiness/Work Differential


This is the last installment, at least for now, of this series. As you will see it is less ethereal than practical this time, because for any idea to actually turn into something meaningful, it has to work in your everyday life.

The rest of the posts in this series can be found at https://www.bebee.com/@jim-murray

“There is more credit and satisfaction in being a first-rate truck driver than
a tenth-rate executive.”

B.C. Forbes

The society we live in forces unhappiness on us in a number of ways. And a lot of those ways have to do with money.

I have never been very good with money. Oh, I could make it alright. But managing it was a whole other matter.

Fortunately my wife is very good at this and so I have been able to get though a sizeable number of years without much in the way of ennui about it.

When that is the case, and you can trust the person who manages the money, you don’t think about it in quite the same way. Instead it frees you up to think about the thing that makes you the money, which, of course, is the work.

My Work Is Fun

The work I do is something I have always loved, and therefore there was a good deal of joy that came with it.

Back in the day before the fucking Internet, the work was all advertising in the traditional sense. And if you were lucky enough to have a job in a good agency creative department agency, this was really, for people who were bent like me, like having died and gone to heaven.

Sure there was bullshit and all kinds of office politics, but somehow it never really seeped all that deeply into the creative departments, because people knew that this was where the product was made, where the reputation of the company resided. And that any screwing you did with that was strictly at your own peril.

But we never really thought about how we were being protected or politics of any kind. We were too busy having a good time.

At the same time, we also knew there was a lot riding on what we did. We were affecting the success of the clients we worked for. We were an investment they were making, and not a cheap one either. So mixed in the with fun was a healthy dose of reality.

But you know what? That reality created the challenge. And the fun part was meeting or beating the challenges. It was a game and over the years it was one that many of us learned to play with a lot of skill.

I never worried about my career or my own personal happiness. I got that automatically when I was able to make sure my clients were successful. It’s called satisfaction.

It’s All About The Customer

Now a lot of people will argue that job satisfaction, (which really is a form of happiness, maybe one of the most common) is a lot harder to come by these days than it used to be back when the economy was healthy and growing at a breakneck pace.

But to those people I call bullshit. Job satisfaction starts with the individual really understanding what the job means.

Understanding who the customer is, because it doesn’t matter what kind of work you do, there is always a customer, a client, a shopper, a patient, a buyer…at the end of what you do or the process you contribute to.

I had it pretty easy in advertising because my end user was always, and still is, pretty clearly defined.

So if you make it a point to really understand who you are working for, your work will become much more personal, and the satisfaction of doing your job well will become a much more important ingredient in your happiness.

And the one true thing about all of this is that the interconnectivity between your skills, your work, your customer, your attitude and your dedication will always lead you to a good place, both both mentally and materially.

“Happiness does not come from doing easy work but from the afterglow of satisfaction that comes after the achievement of a difficult task that demanded our best.”

Theodore Isaac Rubin

It’s all about attitude at the end of the day

It’s all about turning your work into play

It’s all about doing your part with your skills

To push that big rock to the top of the hill

(Channeling Dr Suess)

Till next time.

Jim Murray is a writer, photographer, thinker and a bit of a preacher. He is also a Canadian, but will never apologize for that. His company is called Onwords & Upwords.

He has published more than 1100 long format posts over the past 20 years, and never seems to get tired of writing new ones.

You can follow Jim in the following places:

On beBee: https://www.bebee.com/bee/jim-murray

On LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jim-murray-b8a3a4/

On Twitter: https://twitter.com/Jimbobmur

On Facebook: https://tinyurl.com/y97gxro4

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Jim Murray

2 years ago #2

Yeah. I actually don't show people anything other than pone thing I think will work. Because once I know the problem and the medium you just go for a ride on your bike and come back with the solution. It never really was rocket science, the only thing that made it complex was your confidence in your ability to get there easily.

Jerry Fletcher

2 years ago #1

Jim, from one Mad Man to another Didja ever notice how the rock got lighter the closer you got to a simple answer to the difficult the problem you were solving? People talk about how knowing your why will get you to your how but I've always found that knowing the what (the problem) and who I'll be teamed with made just as much difference. And so it goes.

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