While serving my church as an usher on Christmas Eve, I had a conversation with an acquaintance. I arrived early to mass, which gave us a chance to chat. Sam is a jovial man who makes it a habit to strike up a conversation with anyone. While I have not seen him sing in the church choir, he does have a great voice.

Our Conversation

ME: Hi, Sam!

SAM: Hey, Jimmie! How are you doing this fine holiday season?

ME: All seems to be going well. Health is good, and the family is doing well. I know we are fortunate.

SAM: That’s great to hear. In my case, I spend time with the grandkids. You know … they are a handful, but Joyce and I love having them around. My kids drop them off when they can, and we spoil them to death. I’m sure their parents aren’t too happy about that, but so it goes.

ME: I guess it’s only a matter of time before we all become grandparents. Life does seem to move way too fast. It’s good to appreciate every minute we have on this earth.

SAM: You’re right about that! Hey … listen, I didn’t see you usher the 9:15 am mass last week. I was worried about you.

ME: I attended a business conference, so I was out of San Antonio that weekend. I tried to make it back on time, but it just didn’t work out.

SAM: What kind of conference did you attend?

ME: I’m looking to improve my IT change management skills. This is an area of big interest for me. I like learning more about how leaders implement change, particularly at the enterprise-level. There are so many factors to consider, such as technology, budget, and people. I think you know that some people are resistant to change.

SAM: I do know that! Heck … I have to drive the same way to work or I get confused.

ME: I guess we all get in our comfort zone.

SAM: Jimmie, I really wish I had a meaningful job. I’ve been in the mortgage brokerage business for 30+ years, and I’m fed up! I’m almost 60-years-old. You would think I would’ve found something better along the way. Do you know that I had to work until 3 pm today? Remember … this is the day before Christmas!

ME: That’s a non-starter! Crazy!

SAM: The fact is that I don’t know anything else but the mortgage business. I spend all of my time foreclosing on people. How can that be any fun?

ME: I agree, Sam! Listen … mass is about to start. Let’s talk more here soon!

SAM: Sure thing, Jimmie! It’s great seeing you!

Sam has been in an industry for more than 30 years, and I could tell that he wasn’t happy. His job is nothing more than a place where he performs activities that yield a steady paycheck. The problem with this approach is that life can pass you by, and you’re quite unhappy with your accomplishments when it’s time to walk away.

It’s far better to identify the work that makes you happy. By doing so, your earning power will increase, and you will make sure that our contributions are meaningful.