80% of Americans feel unhappy and unfulfilled in their work, according to researcher and best-selling author Marcus Buckingham. Are you one of them?
In a 2009 address at the Global Leadership Summit, the former Gallup researcher and author of Now, Discover Your Strengths and Standout, said that the number of unfulfilled workers had been on the increase – up from 70% the year before.
From my work as a pastor and life coach, I could have easily guessed that a large percentage of Americans felt that they worked in meaningless jobs that didn’t match their purpose and calling in life.
But eight out of ten people? How sad, especially since the scriptures tell us that God wants us to find enjoyment in our work. In fact, it was King Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, who observed . . . .
“That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God.” – Ecclesiastes 3:13 NIV
If King Solomon was correct in saying that God intends for each person to find pleasure and meaning in his or her work, but only 20% of Americans actually do the work they love, what gives?
Is God playing some kind of cruel trick on the 80% who hate their work? Is he punishing them for something? Or are they just missing something somewhere?”
One day, after thinking and praying about how finding enjoyment and pleasure in our work could be considered a gift from God, I had an “A-ha” moment as I focused on the nature of the word “gift.”
I asked myself . . . .
“What if God does give each of us meaningful and pleasurable work as a gift . . . but few people ever take the time to look for the gift or receive it?”
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