Work

This simple question can help you fall in love with your job again

You might be taking your job for granted.
NBC/The Office
You might be taking your job for granted.

Think you hate your job? You might just be taking it for granted, says Alex Lickerman, physician and author of "The Ten Worlds: The New Psychology of Happiness."

To reset, and even fall in love again with your work, ask yourself a simple question: What would I do without this job?

"Pause, really sit back and imagine what your life would be like without that thing you take for granted," says Lickerman.

Asking this simple question is an effective way to shift your mindset, says Lickerman, because people are typically more grateful for things when threatened with their loss.

Visualize the "what-ifs" in a concrete way and run through the changes in your day, he says. Instead of heading to work, you'd be at home alone, feverishly applying to jobs. While out with friends, you might sit silently, not wanting to chat about a seemingly endless job search.

"Gratitude is a doorway to joy." -Alex Lickerman, physician and author

You might see other changes, too. Without your job, you might not be able to afford your rent, pay off student loans or put extra income into your savings account. You might also feel purposeless, stagnant or that you aren't developing and honing new skills.

This question can also remind you what you like most about your work so you can focus your energies on something positive. You might have a special project you couldn't work on anywhere else. Perhaps, you have the chance to make a unique impact or enjoy a special camaraderie with co-workers that you'd lose at another company.

Most importantly, this process forces you to give yourself a gratitude check, says Lickerman. Connecting with gratitude can help you reassess your priorities and better understand what you really want and need.

On the career front, practicing gratitude can boost your professional success. One study found that gratitude can improve decision-making and increase willpower.

Another body of research found that those who cultivate an attitude of gratitude are more optimistic, alert and likely to achieve their personal goals.

This sense of appreciation will help drive your happiness. Says Lickerman, "gratitude is a doorway to joy."

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