I just spent a few days in a small spa resort at the Czech-Polish border. Getting there included driving on small village roads and crossing a mountain range. There are not many more places so far away from our capital as this one. Here, you are not going to meet fancy cars and rich tourists. Most of the region is struggling economically and the average salary here is one of the lowest in the country. But there was something very special about people I met there. Love.
More than anywhere I’ve recently visited I noticed how much local people love what they do. Staff at the restaurant where we had our meals treated us as their own family. They were lovingly serving our food and clearing our plates, wishing us a great day. A local teacher who organized a free guitar concert for the spa visitors and who spoke of each of his students with pride, love and joy as if this was the most important concert of their career. A retired musician who organized karaoke shows and with love and kindness spoke about every participant, no matter what the actual quality of their performance.
We can view our work as a job, in which we do a material task and someone else provides money in exchange. Or, we can view our work as a calling, where we give our best from our deepest self. A job is separate from the rest of our lives, but a calling is a fulfillment of the rest of our lives. We become happy when we align what we do with purpose and integrity.
To put your whole heart into whatever work you do can transform your life. What seems like a boring or frustrating work experience can suddenly become an important and fulfilling mission. We may not be able to chose our work circumstances but we can always chose how we do our work. Choosing to work in the loving way is creating a deeply fulfilling experience of serving others. Any kind of work can be elevated to service to others. Any kind of work can be done with love, if we decide so.
What I experienced in the spa was the power of work as an expression of love. I may never see those people again but they touched my heart forever. And what is a better way of living life than touching other people hearts?
How many hearts do you touch at your work?
What are your values when dealing with others?