Soren Kierkegaard, the great existential philosopher, said “Don’t forget to love yourself.”
On a slightly more mundane level was J-Lo’s “You’ve got to love yourself first. You’ve got to be okay on your own before you can be okay with somebody else.”
And I think my favourite comes from the 1960’s TV star Lucille Ball: “I have an everyday religion that works for me. Love yourself first, and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”
I believe that one of the best ways we can love ourselves is to give ourselves permission to pursue work that we absolutely love to do, that has real meaning for us, and that makes full use of our unique talents and genius. Anything else is to deny ourselves the complete expression of our magnificence as creations of the universe, god, spirit, whatever you want to call it. And to deny the work we were put on the earth to do.
One of the great myths about work is that it is somehow noble to make our work a sacrifice, and that our nearest and dearest should honour and love us more when we are making that sacrifice in order to maintain their lifestyle. But that’s getting it all backwards. When we’re miserable in our work, we bring that home with us, and misery is a very unattractive quality.
Why do you think all the dating ads that used to appear in the local paper, before the advent of dating sites anyway, made “GSOH” (good sense of humour) a prerequisite for any prospective romantic partner? Do we think that once we set up home, that desire for joy and laughter with a relaxed and fulfilled partner just disappears, to be replaced by that oh-so-romantic “hard worker”?
So go on, give your romantic life a boost, and start loving what you do for a living. And maybe also making a living doing what you love – they don’t have to be incompatible!
And, for those of you expecting something from Miss Houston …
Check out the new programme from Joy Genius Coaching: Core Being