Are you Excited?

My best friend started a new job yesterday. She lives in an area of the US that's feeling the pangs of the economy, so finding a job that she can be happy about (and not just pay the bills with) has been a chore for her. After a long wait, she's really excited about it and hearing her has really got me to thinking about work and the passion that goes into our jobs.

Think about the first day you had at a new job. Was it the most exciting and nerve wracking day of your life? I remember my first day here, defiantly a ‘deer in the headlights' day, but still great. Talking to my friend really made me think about how long that excited feeling lasts. Do you still feel that way about your job? If you don't, are you doing anything to put the passion and excitement back into it?

I spoke to a client not too long ago who told me about his "spirit tree". I didn't know what it was and when I asked him to explain, there was a smile in his voice. He explained the spirit tree to me as something he has in his office that has little mementos (a bell from a Tampa Bay Devil Rays game, for example) hanging from the branches. He said whenever he needs a pick me up; he pulls something off his tree and remembers the day he got that trinket.

For me, I still get excited when I have a new project; I love a good challenge, and the people I work with help to keep me motivated when things get frustrating.  I think that everyone goes through a period when they feel the repetitiveness of their lives; get up, go to work, come home, cook dinner, and watch General Hospital. The important thing is that you find ways to put the passion and excitement back into what you're doing.

What puts the smile back on your face and excites you about what you do? Do you have something like the spirit tree? How about positive affirmations ("I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggonit, people like me")? What do you do?