This is an excerpt from the book I am writing called, “Living Your Purposeful Life”.

Do you define your day, or does your day define you? This is an interesting question to look at. When I was starting to ponder this question, my first thought was that my day defined me. I have a job and there are certain things that I have to do during the day. Since I had stuff I had to do, I began to think that the day defined me and I think there are many people out there where you would agree with me, but I think we all need to step back and sit with this for a moment.

Yes, you may “have” to get certain things done on a given day, but you have the choice in how you are going to do them. First, are you going to enjoy doing them? I can hear some of you thinking, “No, because this is work and I have to do it.” Well, you always have a choice! You can choose to enjoy what you are doing and I am sure you can find a way to make it fun. What about whistling while you work? I know I have a hard time being sad when I am whistling. If you interact with customers, even irate customers, you can greet them warmly with a smile. Did you know that if you smile, even when on the phone, the person on the other end will notice. I am sure you can think of a few ways to make what you are doing fun and fun does not have to be the laugh out loud fun!

For me, when I face problems, I have my most issues, non-fun, when I am focused on the problem. When I shift my focus from the problem to finding solutions, the process of solving the problem is fun. I get very focused, serious, and plow through until I get a result. I usually do not realize how much fun I had until I find a resolution and I look back and say, wow, that was fun. For me, it is fun, because I usually have to try new things to resolve the problem and when I try new things, I am learning new things and I enjoy learning new things.

Ok, I am sure some of you are saying that there is no way you can enjoy what you are doing. I am not sure that I can agree, but you are entitled to let what you do define you and how you feel. Step back for a moment and think about your day and ask yourself, when do I smile during the day? Now, think about those moments and see how many of those moments do you have during a single day? If your job is no fun, how could you smile during the day?

If you can not think of a time when you smiled, then ask yourself, why are you doing the job you are doing? If you can not think of anything good, think back to when you took the job and ask yourself, why did I take this job? I am sure you had a good reason at one point. If you still can not find a good reason, may be it is time for a change.

Think about the other areas of your life. Do those areas define you? If you have children, think about when your children were born. What was it like? Did the birth of your child define you, or did it draw out who you were? You have a child that is totally helpless come into your life and you can let that be a time of joy, or the beginning of a burden that you will have to endure for many years. Lucky, most of the people that I know allow the child to be a time of joy and I see it draw out more good qualities in them. Sometimes these changes produce long lasting results, and sometimes not. In either case, it is your choice.

What choices have you made in your life? Are you letting your job define you, or have you defined yourself within the job? It is not an always thing! Some days may define you. It starts by being aware of what you are allowing in your life. Are you allowing your job to define you? When you have a rough day, sit back and ask, what could I do differently next time. What could you choose to do in the same situation to make the outcome different? May be you need to ask for help sooner. May be you need to take a break to call a friend to make you laugh. May be you just need to stop and breath for a moment.

I know for me, my toughest days are days when I am only using my mind to solve problems. A simple breath for me, brings me back into my body where I can utilize all my senses, which almost always helps me move forward with the issue at hand.

Take time during your day and think about how the day is defining you, or how you are defining your day. If the day is defining you, what could you chance, so you can define the day?