A Real Life Example of Working Happier

I have become midly obsessed with NPR podcasts–I recognize I am a little late to the podcast party but if you haven’t used that feature on your ipod/iphone–it is amazing!  Lots of free, interesting programs out there that give new perspective to things.  What I love about listening to the NPR programs is that it takes me out of my world, my anxieties, my to-do list and introduces me to this whole new world.  A world of every day people doing extraordinary things with their lives.

Last week I was listening to This American Life–one of my favorites.  It was on Amusement Parks. I admit I am not a big fan of amusement parks and I wasn’t going to listen but I thought I would give it a try. The first part of the program is about Cole, the games manager at the park.  Cole is a guy in his 20s who absolutely LOVES his job, I mean LOVES it he has worked at the amusement park since he was 14 and even dropped out of college (with one year to go) to accept this full time job.  You can hear in his voice the joy and passion he has for his job.

I actually listened to this podcast twice (because I wanted my nearest and dearest to listen to it as well because he is as passionate about swimming) and both times I was struck with how excited Cole was to do his job.  I kept thinking to myself this is Working Happier.  This is what it is all about, finding something you love and are passionate about and embracing it.  The beauty of the story is that Cole isn’t fighting world hunger, or making massive change in the world.  He is living his life with passion and joy and because of that he is creating change in the teenagers who work for him, the people who enter the park and see his passion and excitement, and the people like me who heard his story and were inspired by it.

So often these stories of living the dream and finding your passion are by people who are making lots of money or living the ‘easy life’ after working hard for a period of years and now can take it easy.  But the reason I loved Cole’s story is that he works 60-70 hours a week, he gets a lot of crap from his family (and girlfriend) about not completing college, he struggles with ‘just being a games manager’ and not being ‘successful enough’. Bottom line it isn’t all peaches and cream, it isn’t perfect.  He has issues too.  But what he does have is that unmistakable joy when you hear him describe his job, he has found a little slice of heaven in his day to day life….and that in my opinion is priceless.

Check out Cole’s Story here: