“It is a beautiful thing when a career and a passion come together” ~ Unknown
If you had the chance to change someone’s life for the better, would you do it? If you had the chance to teach someone something that would help them live a better life, would you teach them? If you had the chance to make someone smile and laugh, would you take that chance? As Behavioural Optometrists and Vision Therapists, we have these chances every day and I can honestly say that it is one of the most rewarding feelings in the world (well, that I have experienced anyway). It is why we love what we do.
LOVE WHAT YOU DO
A few months ago I attended a conference in Brisbane, run by the Australasian College of Behavioural Optometrists (ACBO). It was attended by some of Australia and New Zealand’s best Behavioural Optometrists and Vision Therapists. It was a privilege to sit in a room with these people, and it was a blessing to get to share in the wealth of knowledge that was present. All of the individuals that attended were different. We differed in age, gender, nationality and culture. We differed in personality, confidence and experience. Some had travelled to a new country, some had crossed state borders, some had flown through the night and some had been driving since the early hours of the morning just to be able to take part. In so many ways and based on these facts, it would have been believable that we wouldn’t have had anything in common at all. But that just wasn’t the case. You see, within that room every single person shared one thing in common – we love our job!
Over the course of two days, we were able to interact with each other and our teachers on a professional level and on a personal level. We were able to gain invaluable insight into how it is that our vocational peers are able to help others. There was lots of laughter, frustration, and persistence. There were many of the infamous “ah-ha” moments and there were many times when we were able to sit back and think to ourselves… “What a great career we have chosen”.
As we listened to each other, we learnt that the way we all carried out the ‘stock-standard’, ‘by the book’ techniques was vastly different. But again, one commonality remained: we got results. One of the women stood before us discussing a case study of one of her patients. Half way through her description of their time together she started crying. She wept as she spoke of a little girl who once hated reading and was generally unhappy during all school related tasks that had become a joyful little child with a bright future ahead of her, keeping up with her peers and reading above and beyond her age level. Not one person in the room was surprised by this outburst. We had all experienced it at some point during our careers. We could all readily admit to experiencing the goose bumps and heart-warming feeling that this type of moment brings about. If you had the chance to experience that feeling on a daily basis, would you take it? I would, and I did.
So what do you do? You might be a teacher, a tradesperson, a business owner or a train driver. What you do doesn’t matter. It is how you do it that counts. It is how you make the time that you spend at your place of work matter. It is how you affect the people around you while you are there, or, it might be how you let them affect you. Don’t go to work simply because you have to. Don’t you deserve better than that? Go to work because you want to. Go to work because what you do matters, in some big or small way.
I read a quote once, I don’t remember who wrote it or said it (though I am sure that many have over the years). It went something like this, “find a job that you love and you will never have to work another day in your life”. When I read that I thought maybe all those motivational speaker-types in the world telling us that we shouldn’t work to live, but rather live to work, were actually probably right. I also realised that without meaning to, I had completely taken their advice. So now it is time for you to do the same.
Do you wake up most mornings fearing the day ahead or looking forward to it? If it is the former, then there is your warning sign. If it is the latter, well…you lucky thing you! Let’s face facts, the government is not going to decrease taxes or decide to fund any of our holidays any time soon. Unless you are lucky enough to win the lottery, then you will probably need to work hard for what you need and harder still for what you want for a significant portion of your lifetime. So why waste time begrudging it? Why waste time resenting it? It isn’t going to change. I think that if we are going to have to spend the rest of our lives working to earn money to fund all of our hopes and dreams, then we should probably have fun while we are at it.
Don’t lose yourself in the everyday monotony of a job that is only half way near being fulfilling. Challenge yourself, allow yourself to grow and find the value in what you currently do. Failing that, open your eyes to the value in what you could do, given the opportunity. Look at your life, look at what you do and ask yourself – are you great at it? Because the only way to do great work is to love what you do.
At Smart Vision Optometry we are proud to say that we love what we do.