There's a stark contrast between relying on happiness to get you through, versus joyfulness. Happiness is comprised of the emotions that are derived from our circumstances, whereas joyfulness is independent of circumstances.
Tomorrow is the last day of school for most of the K-12 teachers here in Orange County, CA. Those of us who teach in higher ed have been done for about a month, if we are on a traditional semester system. Social media has been lit up with celebrations of another school year drawing to a close.
A few people's blogs have mentioned that they feel bittersweet about this season. They'll miss their students and the way teachers get to help contribute to their students' learning. As I read their posts, I am reminded of the true love of teaching that doesn't end when summertime begins.
I've written, previously, about the typical pattern that semester-length classes often take on: the dip. It is during those times that it is particularly useful to be reminded of what power we have to choose our attitudes.
Seth Godin's quote really speaks to that power:
What if you could love what you get paid for?
Really tempting to spend time trying to get paid for what you love.
It's probably easier and certainly more direct to talk to yourself about loving what you do.
A professor in my doctoral program used to tell us the secret to happiness: “Have more get-tos than got-tos…”
“I've got to go back to work next week” transforms into “I get to go back to work next week.”
“I've got to do some grading today” transforms into “I get to do some grading today.”
My what a difference a few words make in changing our perspective.