Okay, I’m sure when you read today’s title, your first thought was, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” Or “Oh no. The Jolly Librarian has read another self-help book.”
To be honest, I am still thinking about the self-help book I read last week: Designing Your Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans. And I too thought that no one has time to do a joy log when I first read about it.
But their example in recommending it is compelling. A student, Mortimer (not the name in the book. But I don’t have the book with me. And I think more people should be named Mortimer.) graduated in Civil Engineering and took a job in the field. A few years later, he was miserable, but he didn’t know what else to do. He got all sorts of advice, including go back to school in finance–since engineers are good at numbers and he could make all sorts of money with an advanced degree in finance.
But before applying for graduate school, he took the authors’ advice and kept a log of his happiest and most depressing moments on the job in order to help him find what his next career should be.
He discovered an amazing thing: He LIKED civil engineering. What he didn’t like was the budget and finance part. (Good thing he didn’t apply for the MBA.)
So, in the end, Mortimer, did return to college for an advanced degree in Civil Engineering. He now has a job solely focused on the engineering and is a happy camper.
The moral here: Know what makes you miserable. Know what brings you joy. And as odd it sounds, you can’t always trust your feelings. You may have to do some research.