Just put in the work

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As I was going through this emo phase, I decided I needed to watch a movie that would at least put me in a decent mood (I mean, even I was starting to roll my eyes at my own thoughts). Zootopia was on Netflix, and since Disney never disappoints, I gave it a try. And boy, that movie was the cuuuutest thing in the world!

The main character, Judy the rabbit, had the most amazing attitude ever. Basically, she was a bunny from a small town who, after becoming the first female rabbit police officer, moved to the big city (Zootopia), where she planned to fight crime and all that drill. However, on her first day on the job, she got assigned to giving parking tickets on the street, while all her coworkers got to work on a really cool case.

She was told that her job was to give 100 tickets a day, and even though it wasn’t what she was expecting, she put her big girl pants on and said: “I’m not going to give 100 tickets; I’m going to give 200!”

So moral of the story? Even if this example is a little cheesy: your attitude is what makes the difference when it comes to your work. That girl was a hustler, and even though I wasn’t in the best mood that day, just seeing her energy was invigorating and made me realize that sometimes we don’t give work the high value it deserves.

In theater, we used to say that there’s no small role, but small actors. And even though the first time I heard it I thought it was a consolation phrase for when you got to be “Tree number 4” on a play, I now see that it was completely on point.

There’s this energy about working hard. Working stimulates your brain because you have a purpose, something to achieve every day. When you work, you create something tangible, you can measure results and see how far you’ve gone. And no matter how big or small the task is, the feeling is damn rewarding.

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As an immigrant, I’ve heard a lot of things like ‘I'm a lawyer in my country, I’m not doing that job”. Or parents that want their kids to be doctors or businessmen because those are respectable jobs (as opposed to being a hairdresser or a poet). We have so many preconceptions about working that we think that our value as human beings is defined by what we do, and not how we do it.

Also, with this modern-day illusion of entrepreneurship, a lot of people dream of reaching their early 30s and basically retire and live off the passive income generated by employees. I’ve even heard: “work is supposed to be horrible, that’s why they pay you to do it”.

And hey, I'm not saying that there aren't situations when you HAVE to find ANY job because you need the money and can't afford to do something that you truly love, but it's what you do once you have the position, what determines the outcome. You can decide whether to be miserable every day because you'd much rather be modeling, but instead, you have to file complaints at an insurance company; or to be open to learning anything that you can (I promise, everything that you learn can be useful).

And I don’t mean to sound all Elle Woods here, but trust me when I say that I get you. That there are days when you don’t feel like waking up like Cinderella having birds singing around you and making your bed, but I honestly believe that attitude is a choice. Complaining is a vicious circle, and thinking about how great your life were "if only…" is the perfect recipe to following that circle.

I looove this quote by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry:

If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea”.

Basically, choose to love what you do. Choose to give your 100% every day. We can’t choose what we feel, but we can choose how we react to those feelings. So choose wisely, allow yourself some grumpy Mr. Scrooge days if you need them, but make those days exceptions, not the general rule of thumb.

I hope this was useful somehow, and that if you’re struggling somehow with what you do for a living, at least you can wake up tomorrow with an improved energy.

Thanks for reading, I’m off to catching up with Modern Family (hey, I didn’t say my emo days were 100% over; I need some extra motivation).