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Perseverance is the key

YOUTH IN FOCUS: I work in an office. Everyone says that I am lucky to get this job, but I feel really bored. Is there anything I can do to feel better or should I just quit?

Tashi, Thimphu

I know that doing the same job everyday can feel boring, especially if it is not challenging. However, any kind of work can be satisfying when done with perseverance and a good intention. If we change our job every time we feel fed up, we are like the unsuccessful gold digger. According to the story, the man changed his digging location whenever he felt bored and so, even though he was digging above field of gold, he never found any.

The best way to discover satisfaction and wisdom is to apply mindfulness – non-judgmentally  being  aware of the present moment. Mindfulness is like a magic power that can transform even the most  boring activities into satisfying ones that give us wisdom.

I’ll relate a story. When I was in high school, I took a temporary summer job at an office. My job was to write down the value of bank cheques and then total up the amount. To be honest, it was really boring. Everyday from 9AM to 5PM was the same – just piles of boxes filled with cheques. I knew I would be miserable if I just did the job in an unenthusiastic way, and so I tried to do it mindfully.

Every day, I would write down each amount as beautifully and as clearly as possible. Each eight had its own style, every number seven was clear and easy to read. If my mind drifted away, I would just bring it back and focus on the work. In this way, the minutes turned into hours and the hours into days. Finally, when the vacation ended, I felt very happy with my efforts.

Even to enjoy a cup of tea, we need mindfulness. We prepare it carefully, and then observe the steam rising, smell the aroma and finally taste the freshness of the tea. People who develop mindfulness are very fortunate, because they find the magic in every activity.

So, I suggest that you start your day by making your work space clean and tidy, Later, do your work mindfully. Even if you have a 100 letters to write, think that each one is unique. Choose good words that are clear to understand. If you work with the public,  be aware of their needs and enthusiastically help them. Each day be mindfulness. Before you begin your work, you can even dedicate your efforts to the benefit of others and then when you finish your work dedicate the merit to all beings. Be creative. Have fun. Your feelings about you job will change greatly. I guarantee it.

Recommended books on mindfulness (by Thich Nhat Hanh):

– Peace in Every Step

– The Miracle of Mindfulness

Shenphen Zangpo was born in Swansea, UK, but spent more than 28 years practicing and studying Buddhism in Taiwan and Japan. Currently, he works with the youth and substance abusers in Bhutan, teaching meditation and organising drug outreach programmes.

Email to thinleyzangmo24@gmail.com for any queries


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