I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Over 87% of people worldwide report feeling emotionally disengaged with the work they do. This means that most people go through the motions
of work, but aren’t actually happy
doing what they do. The global workforce spends more hours a day working than anything else, so it’s a particularly shockingly statistic
.February is traditionally the love
month, and the aim of this month’s Positively Speaking blog
is to offer hope to the 87% by providing inspiring examples of women who are in love with their work
. These women have a passion for what they do, which makes them happy and has a positive impact on every aspect of their lives.
Author Kristy Abbott is currently on a hot streak. With the ink on her top selling novel The Ghosted Bridge barely dry, Kristy is already preparing for her next book launch in April. Finding Home, a children’s picture book illustrated by Danusia Keusder will be available from North Star Press of St. Cloud in March 2014.
Like many people, Kristy is good at more than just one thing. Often, however, people who have multiple skills and talents get stuck in indecision. They think they have to choose between them. The indecision can drive them to do something they don’t like at all. But not Kristy. She’s chosen to embark on two complementary careers simultaneously.
Here’s what Kristy says about the joys and challenges of exercising her passion in different arenas, and the personal and professional benefits of letting go of expectations and learning just to “play.”
Dr. Diane Rogers: Kristy, tell us what you do and why you love it.
I am lucky enough to have two jobs I love. I am a writer/author and a tennis teaching professional/coach. The two careers complement each other perfectly — I get to exercise my creativity through words and activity! DR: What was your first spark of inspiration to do the work and what makes it the “right” work for you?KA:
I knew from the very beginning. I wrote my first “book” about a girl and her horse in the second grade.
The job I have now as a freelance online content writer was very challenging to master in the beginning because I had little understanding of social media and marketing via the Internet. Now that I have the hang of it, I absolutely love being able to blog for companies of all types. I have become well-versed in everything from heating and cooling tips and motorcycle riding do’s and don’ts to caring for cancer patients and staffing and recruiting software!
The best thing about being a writer is that you can do your job anywhere. I love to write in coffee shops because of the cool energy that exists there. I also have a sunny spot in my kitchen where I can enjoy the view and get inspired — with help from my writing companion, Simon, the main character of my newest book, Finding Home.
DR: What is it about writing and tennis that lights you up?KA: Storytelling, creating, discovering, challenging, and ever-changing.
DR: We all know that job is perfect. Tell us the downside of what you do.KA:
It can be daunting to get a new client who has a specific language and experience in their unique industry. I have to get up-to-speed quickly so I can convincingly appeal to an audience that frankly has more expertise than I do.
In terms of being a tennis teaching professional and coach, the most difficult part of dealing with students (of all ages) is that they get stuck in their heads. They limit their ability by their own expectations of themselves instead of giving themselves permission to just play.
Kristy Abbott on her 2013 book tour with The Ghosted Bridge in Balboa, California
DR: Kristy, you been successful in two very different work domains. What advice would you give to the 87% of people around the world who don’t like what they get paid to do?KA: Obviously people have to work for a living at something, and chances are it’s not fun or enjoyable. I would say that finding what drives your passion is really important. For example, if you are a person who really enjoys working with people but your job keeps you locked in the back office, try to incorporate your people-oriented skills into your job wherever possible. If not, find something outside of work that fills the need you have. Volunteer, join an organization, or find a cause that gets you excited.
Simon the cat, the main character in Finding Home by Author Kristy Abbott
A note to readers:
Are you multi-talented and can’t decide which direction is right for you? Are you struggling to find work that you’re passionate about?Kristy highlights the importance of managing our personal expectations. She also reminds us to give ourselves permission to play.
Studies have shown that play is the birthplace of joy.
What do you love to do? When did you last give yourself permission just to play?
Remember that working with passion and purpose is vital to your well-being!