How to Love Your Job Even When You Don't


Your attitude towards your job matters more than anything else. Not even skill rivals personal passion. For evidence of this, look around your workplace.

You can have two people doing the same job, and they both experience it entirely differently.

One person loves the job. They think it's fun and rewarding. The other person despises it and thinks it's hard and a chore to be at work. Both of them are right. It’s their mindset that makes it real.

It’s the same job. They do the same thing with the same people for the same pay. Yet for each person, it's completely different. It's because we each create that experience.

It's not the job itself. It's not the people and it's not the pay. It’s you. The way you habitually think and feel about your job creates your experience with your job. 

The person who loves their job spends more time appreciating their coworkers and their work environment. The person who hates the job spends more time looking at the work and the people they work negatively. He clutters his experience with negative thoughts that diminish the job. He diminishes himself in his job. 

Let’s simplify it even more:

The lover of the job feels good at work more often. He feels good about the job and himself. For him, the day will often fly by as he’s wrapped up in purposeful, meaningful work. 

The hater of the job feels bad at work more often. He feels bad about the job and himself. His work will take a toll on him, and his day will move by slowly. 


The biology around negative thoughts is they release adrenaline. It activates your stress cycle. It tenses your muscles, speeds up your heart rate, increases your blood pressure, slows down digestion.

Negativity and resulting stress create tension inside you. It also activates the back part of the brain, which limits your perspective. In terms of energy and your predominant thoughts, it drains you; it slows you down. Stress is designed to hold you back to protect you. It creates distance between you and your job. It thinks it's helping you, but it's not. You are excluding yourself from future opportunities; you are excluding yourself from joy. 

Negative thoughts towards your job make you feel bad. Your body memorizes this feeling, and you feel this way more often. 

Positive thoughts release endorphins like serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin. Each of these hormones causes expansion inside your body. They slow down your heart rate and blood pressure, release muscle tension, speed up digestion.  It deactivates the stress cycle. The prefrontal cortex is now in charge. You will think more clearly, see more opportunities and attract more positive thoughts and emotions. 

Because you are predominantly more positive, you literally move towards your job. You are more connected to the work you do; you recognize more opportunities, delight in interactions more often, and build relationships with your team. 

Negative thoughts and emotions keep moving you away from your job, and positive thoughts and emotions keep moving you forward. Negative emotions stall your progress; positive ones move you forward in your career. It’s really that simple. 


To appreciate your job and move forward in your career, you have to love it up. Change your thoughts and feelings about your job. Remember, happiness and joy are feelings. They are inside you. Nourish them inside you. Don’t peg joy on any circumstances going your way. Never peg joy to other people’s approval. It’s inside you, so you have all the control. 

Change your focus

Instead of focusing on the job, the people, the circumstances working out for you, bring that focus inside you. Your feelings are powerful, and they are inside you.

Nourish positive feelings. Regularly reminding yourself of things you love about your work and why you chose this line of work. It was the emotion of joy that brought you here. If you hated this industry, you would have never chosen it. Remember what that joy felt like, remember why you thought you would like this job. 

In the beginning, this may be hard because you have far more momentum around negative attitudes.

It will help you to create routines. 


Driving to work, tell yourself what you genuinely like about your job. Start small. Perhaps you look forward to the free coffee. Maybe you like your quiet workspace. Reach for a positive thought-feeling about your job. It will be fleeting but hold onto it as long as you can.

Now expand this and think about the people who are nice to you at work. Expand and think about potential future opportunities.

The only thing that is important here is the way you feel. In the beginning its a bit bumpy if you're saying to yourself, I love my Job when really you hate it. This will make you feel rotten because internally, it's not true. You have too much negative energy against your job. It will backfire. Your emotions are real. Honour them.

If your predominant thoughts and emotions are negative towards your job, recognize that. 

Every day you still show up for a job even though you hate it. It's hard to feel bad, especially this often. It’s hard on you; it's draining. Have some self-compassion. Be kind to yourself. 

You can never become more positive by beating yourself up. You can never entice positive emotion through negative thoughts. It’s not possible. You can’t feel positive and negative at the same time. 

Thus it would be best if you had positive emotion to help you relieve the negative ones. The best positive emotion to reach for when you feel heavy emotion like anger, resentment, or fear is self-compassion. Be kind to yourself—a lot. Constantly surround negative thoughts about yourself, your job, or others with compassion.

Recognize you are struggling, it's not your fault, everybody experiences negative emotions, it's part of our survival, but it's hard on you. Reach for any relief these kind thoughts give you. 

Next spread the compassion to everyone else. Think kind thoughts about your manager, even if you dislike him. At first, this won't is easy but think about how he struggles. If he’s difficult, he’s wrapped up in negativity too. This is actually what brought you two together in the first place. Negativity works like a magnet, and it attracts more negativity to itself. 

If you are negative, you are also drawn to other negative people and circumstances. You hang out with gossipers or complainers at lunch, you find them in the break room. You keep moving towards negative people and situations. You keep moving away from joy. Your relief is through compassion. It has to be a positive emotion that's genuine to you; compassion is real. 

Remember that nobody in your workplace ever has to change. This is not contingent on them. What you are doing is nurturing your own positive emotions. The moment you think the joy of your job relies on anyone or anything outside you, you lose control. 


It's important to start small. Pick little things that you appreciate about your job because they genuinely make you feel good- they are uncomplicated. Never judge or size up why you feel good, or assess why you should feel good. This is complicating happiness. Joy is a feeling; it's simple.

Look for a thought that makes you feel good. This is why you start small; it's easier.  Let’s say you sit at a desk where the sun shines in on you at 2 PM every day. It feels good to have the sun shining on you. This feeling is all you need. 

Remind yourself that you have a job where the sun shines in on you every afternoon. Even when you're not working, think about those moments where you are sitting at your desk, and the sun is beaming in on you. This is a good job just because your desk's placement allows the sun to shine in on you. 

I know I’m repeating myself a lot because you will be too. It’s important to keep the good feeling inside you as long as you can. You can do this by repeating the thought and holding the emotion. Repeat it over and over while feeling good inside you. 

If possible, when 2 PM rolls around take 5 minutes to bask in the sun. Keep bringing that thought and feeling combination inside you often. 

What if it's cloudy and the sun doesn't shine in on you at 2 PM? It doesn't matter. Never hinge your happiness on external circumstances. You can imagine the sun shining in on you and have the same effect. 

You won't have to do this routine for very long because what you’ve done is used positive emotion to broaden your perspective. Pretty soon, you will naturally notice and attract more good things about your job. People you felt neutral about will now seem more kind or friendly. 

It's important to start small. Pick little things that you appreciate because they are genuine and uncomplicated. The key is to nurture good feelings all the time. Get leverage out of feeling good. 


Now start to appreciate everything you can about your day.  For instance, If someone compliments you, accept the compliment and use it to feel good. Even if it's simple like they admire your haircut.

Let’s get into the nitty-gritty to see how this works.

Imagine someone compliments you on your haircut.

Reach for some good feelings and thoughts about this compliment. It will be different for everyone but here’s what this kind of internal dialogue might look like…

The person complimenting me is being so kind to me. She really is nice.

It's great that I get to work with nice people like this. In fact, many people I work with are really kind. Also, my barber did a great job. He's very diligent, and he really listens—what a nice man.  I do feel good about myself with my new haircut. 

I know these thoughts are all so simple. At first, they seem almost silly. 

But do you see how you took one small compliment that you usually brush aside and you created potential? Instead of dismissing the compliment, you took it in and the positive feeling it gave you expanded your perspective. I want you to see how through your thoughts and good feelings you would move closer to the person who paid you a compliment, next you expanded and used good feelings to move closer to your entire team. Next, you moved closer to your barber, and then you moved closer to yourself.  You have set yourself up for more positive experiences. 

Your positive emotions moved you forward and unlocked potential. If you brushed this compliment aside or downplayed it, you missed this opportunity. This is how powerful your thoughts are. 

All of this came from a compliment about a haircut. 

As a keynote speaker I reinforce positive thinking constantly because I have seen how powerful it is.

Imagine when the really good things happen -how much it will expand your possibilities! 

Believe in feeling good about your job. Look for anything that seems positive in your work and expand positive thoughts and feelings. In doing so, you are loosening your negative grip on your perspective. 

In our climb, we call this elevate. To me, it's the most important part because you're climbing into your life. You are using these positive thought emotions to move towards your own life. You are climbing into the here and now. Only positive thoughts and emotions can get you there.

You will be spending more time in your real life here and now instead of a negatively slanted made-up world.  Negative thoughts and feelings are holding you back in that world. Positive thoughts climb into reality. 

If you get really good at elevating your emotions, positive emotions will crowd out negative ones. No matter how bad your job is, you will have a reservoir of joy.

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Jody is a motivational speaker who is passionate about inspiring workplace enthusiasm

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