Finding Joy in a Job You Don’t Like - Shundrawn Thomas (Podcast Episode 26)

There's some magic that turns the work you do every day for a paycheck into something more, something that you actually enjoy, but how do you spark that magic? How can you experience joy in your work when you're working a job that you don't like? Today's guest is going to give us a step-by-step. Shundrawn Thomas is the president of a global investment management business. He's also the author of the book, Discover Joy in Work: Transforming Your Occupation into Vocation.

Scripture References

Genesis 1:1-30
In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day. And God said, “Let there be a dome in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” So God made the dome and separated the waters that were under the dome from the waters that were above the dome. And it was so. God called the dome Sky. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day. And God said, “Let the waters under the sky be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good. Then God said, “Let the earth put forth vegetation: plants yielding seed, and fruit trees of every kind on earth that bear fruit with the seed in it.” And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation: plants yielding seed of every kind, and trees of every kind bearing fruit with the seed in it. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the third day. And God said, “Let there be lights in the dome of the sky to separate the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years, and let them be lights in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. God set them in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth, to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day. And God said, “Let the waters bring forth swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the dome of the sky.” So God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, of every kind, with which the waters swarm, and every winged bird of every kind. And God saw that it was good. God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day. And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures of every kind: cattle and creeping things and wild animals of the earth of every kind.” And it was so. God made the wild animals of the earth of every kind, and the cattle of every kind, and everything that creeps upon the ground of every kind. And God saw that it was good. Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.” So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” God said, “See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. (NRSV)

Romans 8:28
​We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. (NRSV)

Additional Resources Referenced

Discover Joy in Work: Transforming Your Occupation Into Vocation, by Shundrawn Thomas

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​​Leah Archibald: Making It Work is brought to you by The Max De Pree Center for Leadership at Fuller Theological Seminary and the Theology of Work Project.

Mark Roberts: Welcome to Making it Work.

LA: Through conversation, scripture and stories, we invite God into work’s biggest challenges... so that you can live out your purpose in the workplace.

MR: I’m Mark Roberts.

LA: And I’m Leah Archibald. And this is Making It Work.

There's some magic that turns the work you do every day for a paycheck into something more, something that you actually enjoy, but how do you spark that magic? How can you experience joy in your work when you're working a job that you don't like? Today's guest is going to give us a step-by-step. Shundrawn Thomas is the president of a global investment management business. He's also the author of the book, Discover Joy in Work: Transforming Your Occupation into Vocation, and he's going to be a joy for us to talk to today. Shundrawn Thomas, welcome to the Making It Work podcast.

Shundrawn Thomas: Thank you so much, Leah. Great to be here with you and Mark.

LA: Thank you for being here. So we're gonna start with a question about maybe some work that you've done where you haven't felt joy, can you tell us about a job that you've had where you really were not experiencing joy in your work?

ST: You know Leah, I think that's a great place to start because of two things, it helps frame the discussion about joy and what it is and what it is not, and also it applies to how we think about a particular job or role. First of all, I wanna say this transparently, I've been at my current employer for the last 17 years, and I have thoroughly enjoyed that experience, but the first thing I would say is, over the course of that experience with this employer or my previous employers, I've had peaks and valleys, and so while I'll talk specifically about instances where I've went through difficult seasons where I haven't felt that joy in my work, I'd start with the pragmatic reality that if you're at a place of employment over any extended period of time, you're likely going to have times or seasons where you don't feel joy or fulfillment in your work, and so I don't so much associate it with a particular job or even a particular place of employment. Now, that being said, when I think about your question, I think of joy really being a really inspired kind of happiness, that pleasure or real deep fulfillment that comes when you feel in a sense, you're working at your highest and best use.

You're doing something that you feel and especially inspired by or called to, and that's often when you feel joy in the context of work, it's mostly accompanied by an attitude of gratitude, and certainly what I would refer to as an attitude of the heart.

Now, one of the things that I think about in terms of the periods of time where I haven't had that joy, I would start in a season, even at my most recent employer, is what I call a dry season, and what I realized it's a combination of things. Sometimes it was the accumulation of pressures that I had, I was in a transitional period, I had moved into a different set of responsibilities, and so what you find sometimes is the practices or tools that you use before that weren't as effective in the new role or responsibilities, and then to be very frank, working through your different interpersonal challenges as you work with new team members and the like. The combination or any of those things can lead to difficulties, and so I think about a lot of times it's not necessarily the job content itself, it's the things that all work together, that affect your attitude and your disposition in your particular job.

LA: So what I'm hearing from you is that when I'm experiencing dry period in my work, it doesn't mean I am not suited to my particular job, and my next step is to go out and change jobs.

ST: That is so important because I think there are a couple of things to look at. So first of all, there is the actual job content itself, now, it's good to start there, because what happens sometimes... I've been in this position and maybe you have too, where you're doing something that I would say maybe you're fairly proficient at or good at, but you're not great at. And so part of, I think being able to find the deepest fulfillment or joy in work is being able to either shift the work you're doing such that it reflects what we might refer to as your strengths, or that you're doing work that quite frankly, you're really good at it. That can be one part of it. And so sometimes...

LA: Now Mark has never experienced this, Mark has never experienced work that he's not great at, isn't that right Mark?

MR: No comment. Don't talk to my boss now, what if I'm right there right now, and I just don't know it.

ST: Well, Mark, I have... And I know this seems simple Leah but we don't find deep joy or fulfillment in things that we're not particularly good at.

The second thing though is beyond just the work content, culture is so very important, and so there is something to be said about whether it's the group that you're working in, or maybe it's even the company or the organization, is it a good fit? Sometimes as people, we have that J, we're judgmental and so we like to put things into good and bad categories, black and white, but sometimes it's just a matter of what's the right kind of fit, and so sometimes we're not happy because in a sense we're not planted in the kind of soil or we're not kind of in the environment that most suits us, and so that's another thing to think about in terms of what affects your joy and then...

LA: And does that mean I get to change... When do I get to fantasize about changing jobs?

ST: Well here's when you get to fantasize. I think both of the things we talked about could lead to... So first of all, if you are to assess your own skills and to say, You know what, as I think about it, I'm just much better suited to doing a different type of work, but if you're doing that after deep reflection, that's potentially a time to change, if you say with deep and thoughtful reflection that, You know what, actually when I think about my values or how I like to work, and I think about the norms and the behaviors in this particular culture, maybe it's not a great fit, but what I found as I've advised and counselled people all the time, Leah, is many times, it's not the case. Lots of times it's actually adjustments that we can make, and it'll turn the exact situation we have or the exact job from one that we don't, in a sense, enjoy that much to one that we can actually find deep fulfillment in.

LA: So share some of this step-by-step wisdom with us, what is it that people can do to change within themselves, even if they can't change some of the externalities of their job?

ST: Well, so there are a couple of tangible suggestions or piece of advice I would give and it would be woven around how the book is framed.

So I say there are three important words in the book, work, joy and transform. If I start with work, that's a mental or physical effort that we put forth to achieve a particular result, and so the first thing that I say to people is, work actually is intended to be joyful, and that's not a throwaway statement because you've probably heard people in terms of their... Even their philosophy about work or what they believe about work... I remember one time talking to a mentor and explaining that I was going through a difficult period, and I remember their response to me, Well, that's why they call it work. So implicit in that statement was really a belief that says work's supposed to be difficult, it's supposed to be challenging, yes, but not necessarily something that causes us to be despondent.

So first of all, the very mindset that I take to my work, it begins there with that attitude, understanding that work done well is intended to be joyful. Now, then it goes to... The second part is, you really have to have a clear mission, vision, and in a sense, outcome you're trying to achieve, and so you can probably appreciate this Leah.

There have been times in life where I say to people, You can find people that are very busy, but they're not necessarily getting very much work done, and I think inwardly we know that.

LA: Why do you say, I can appreciate that. What do you know about me? [laughter]

ST: I know that... I know in the short time we've been talking, that you're very perceptive, and I'm sure you've observed these kinds of environments and these kind of situations.


MR: Nice. Good job.

LA: Good save, good save. It's a wise man there. [chuckle]

ST: And so the thing is realizing we are literally built and designed to be productive, and so when we're not productive, if we're just busy, you know what that means? We're not gonna be happy. And so making sure that we have a clear mission in mind, and not just the mission of the organization, but a personal mandate for what we wanna accomplish in any given day, 'cause no day is promised. So that's part of that. And we drive that ourselves. I always tell people, the organization can have a mission, but you have to have a personal mandate.

The next thing is, when we talk about this thought of the work not only being joyful, but it being inherently good, and so what happens is it's easy for us to default into the glass half full, and a lot of how we experience the day is about the story that we're telling ourselves in our head. But if I believe that work is inherently good, and if I believe most people that I'm working with actually have good intent, if I understand that all I see is not all there is, I can experience not only the work product, but the experience in the workplace and the people that I work with differently.

ST: And that's very important because I've realized for myself, sometimes I've had the proverbial bad day or the proverbial bad meeting, and if I'm really honest with myself, it was the story that I was already telling myself before the events ever happened.

MR: So one of the things I have done... If it is a hard day, and I know you have hard days at work and difficult conversations and disappointments. There have been a number of days when I used to drive home from work, I don't drive anymore, I just... I'm always home but... I would try to reframe the day in the way, it's very much like you're talking and say, "This was a really hard day, but I was able to do good work today with good people, and I need to thank God for that, 'cause that was a good thing." And so for me, the combination of tweaking it that way, and then adding in the gratitude piece, I'm not instantly in love with my job and rejoicing, but it shifts it and you talk a lot about that.

LA: Now, there's something about calling work good that we did not make up ourselves. This comes from the first chapter of the Bible, from Genesis 1.

ST: I think Scripture is... It's not only so fully packed with wisdom, and I mean practical wisdom, really instructions on how to live life, but it's a deep well that keeps giving. I feel like I can read the first chapters of Genesis 1,000 times over, and God still continue to reveal different things, but I love... What I like to say is, one of the perspectives that I had of Genesis in writing this book is I said, Have you ever really thought about what the attitude of God was as he was going through---the triune God going through creation? I said, I would argue you could only describe it as joyful, as he goes through each step, he admires the work and he says, It is good, it is an affirmation. And one of the things God is doing in the process of doing work, and I always tell people when we open the biblical narrative, we don't find God at rest, we find God at work. And the thing that he does, in part, is so important for us, It's reflection. I find one of the reasons that we struggle many times to find joy in our work, because if we're honest with ourselves, think about how little time we spend reflecting. We're always pushing towards the next thing, the next promotion, the bigger pay, the next product roll out.

And sometimes just what you describe, Mark, the simple pleasures of a job well done, and the thing is, the other part of it is important, they're... Oftentimes, the reason sometimes people are disappointed in a work context 'cause they're looking for an external affirmation of what they've done, but what I found is when we really are in touch with how we're created and most importantly, who our creator is, we know without a shadow of a doubt when we do good work, and so nobody has to put it in a performance review, nobody has to send us a nice email, although that would be kind, but we can actually for ourselves look and know that the work is good, and thus it gives us that inward knowing and that sense of not only joy, but peace.

LA: So Genesis 1:31 says, God saw everything that he had made and indeed it was very good, and I am getting this image, Shundrawn from you of God standing back and just looking at his creation being like, Yeah, that's pretty sweet. Having that experience of joy, I've never thought... I've thought, Of course, what God did was very good, but I haven't taken that lesson to myself and thought, Yes, let me stand back at the end of the day and say, "Congratulations Leah, on a podcast well moderated," that's never been part of my end of the day practice, and I wonder if that's my own reticence or my education as a woman, looking to have someone else pat me on the head rather than to take credit for my own work, there could be gender issues involved there as well, but I think for many people, there's a reticence to reflect on our own work and just take joy in the fact that we accomplished something.

ST: Well, one of the things that I talk about in the book, and so the book is in three segments, the first is about the workplace, the second segment is about work ethic, third work life. But work ethic, this speaks specifically to what you're saying, Leah. Work ethic is the belief that work is inherently good, and it's about more than what I call the typical rewards. So if you think about what we're used to, we want rewards as far as remuneration, we wanna get paid for what we do. We wanna be recognized, that's that affirmation, and many times the actual praise is just as important as the pay for many people with not more so. And so what you talked about, maybe there is a gender aspect, but the reality is, we all have what I might call father issues, that affirmation that we need that should come from God, but we often look to other places and to people for. And we do it most readily in our work. And then there's the respect. A lot of times, it can turn into an exaggerated sense of self or pride because we're looking or almost demanding a sort of respect from the work.

What I'm talking about is not anything that's a promoting of self, it's not even done for other people, it's more of a self-awareness and a self-realization because we are indeed created in the image and likeness of God, we have creative abilities, and whether it's something small or large, we can reflect and see how God is moving through us. I've seen it in simple things, I'm probably best sometimes outside of the workplace in the audience of other people, I like doing things, I like hands-on work, I love... We have a big deck, like cleaning the deck and power washing it. And I know this will sound crazy, but at the end of a couple of hours being out there in the sun and all those things to look at how it started, and then it being refreshed almost brought to that original sense, and I can look at it and say, "It's good." And I'm not looking or seeking any applause, it is just the fulfillment of a job and work well done, and I think that's the same thing in simple ways, we need to be able to experience in our work, it's almost an instance of grace God gives us if we allow it.

LA: Now, I find a lot of joy in my work because I do something that I see as creative, I get to have interesting conversations with people, I get to do writing, but I'm thinking back to a time in my career, and I worked for a large business to business software company. And what I did all day long is I made email campaign, I wrote emails about the software to promote white papers, all I did all day was tell CTOs why they should read a white paper about some particular software or another. And I had no interest in the software, and I just felt like an email pusher. So for folks who are in a job where they don't feel like they're expressing themselves, where they don't feel like they're... Or they don't have the hands-on physical sense of a job well done, how can they get joy or find some joy in that kind of work?

ST: So, great question. Let me start with this, I certainly do not have a pollyanna view of the world. And so there are instances where there are people right now working in situations that are oppressive, they're in... Working as part of organizations where the culture is really bad, maybe even poisonous, they're working under untenable conditions. So let's be clear that if a person is in that kind of situation, the best answer is to get out of that situation as soon as they possibly can. What I'm speaking to many times in this context is that's not the situation, so let's talk about a situation where... And I've been exactly where you are. It's not that it's abusive, it's not that it's a situation that's untoward it, but it's a situation that we're not happy it's not...

LA: It's kinda boring.

ST: Yeah. And here's what I would say, this is where I say a lot of times people will have more influence than they believe. I think about in my career there was one role that I had, and I had a very rote set of responsibilities, but what I realized is I could actually influence my days' work, and so what I did is... I'm wired for work so I could get most of what I needed to get done literally in half the time I was at work, so I went to my supervisor and I said, "Hey, this is my job description, here are a couple of things it seems like that would benefit our group." One of the things, for example, and this is before I ever wrote a book, I've always loved to write, and I said, "You know, I think I could help with the marketing materials."

And so he said, "How could you help?" I said, "I think we need to re-do them." Long story short, I rewrote and reproduced all of the marketing materials. One of the things I've always loved is communicating and teaching, and so within our organization, there were some internal training we were doing, so I went and volunteered to be a part of that and became one of the trainers. My point is, I would speak to about four different things I did in the context of that job, where I influenced or shaped the content of what I was doing during my day, because if I would have just left myself to being doing effectively what was in the job description, it just wasn't fulfilling to me.

LA: Now I wanna bring in another Bible verse that you quote in your book, when you talk about attitude, and I appreciate what you're talking about, is having an attitude of, "There are things I can change here, there are things I can influence about... " Like a go-getting attitude, and the verse that you quote is Romans 8:28, "We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to His purpose." So what does this verse mean for you, Shundrawn, in the context of maybe boring work or work that on the surface doesn't seem joyful.

ST: Well, it means a couple of things to me. So I love this passage of Scripture, and it's rich in so many ways, first of all, it says that "All things work together for good," and I'll give the other sort of qualifications, but let's just pause there, it doesn't say every single thing is good. So it's sort of like in my business, we're investors, I'm a professional investor, and one of the things that we're doing is we're looking at the portfolio. Now in your portfolio of investments that you own, all of them are never doing well at the same time, it's never the case. So the question is not how the individual components are doing, but how the portfolio is performing over time.

So God says, "What I can do, even the things that you don't like, even the things that are boring or that are tough or difficult, given the right perspective and the right time, and the right season, and it's God's time and season, I can make those things work together for good." And so one of the things I've seen, and I haven't always been able to see it many times, I couldn't see it when I was going through it, is there were difficult or dry seasons that I went through in my vocational experience that I look back and now and see, they were preparing me for other opportunities that I received later in my career. So had I not went through the difficult time and learned those lessons, I actually wouldn't be experiencing the fulfillment or joy that I have today because I wouldn't have gotten a skill set or the perspective or the wisdom that came from that experience.

So part of it, that's the all things working together for good. The called according to purpose means that I have to remember and the third segment of the book is about your work life. My life is not meant to fit into my work plan, my career plan is meant to fit into my life plan. So it means never forgetting that I am called to a greater, more eternal purpose, that everything in this life on some level is either passing away or it's being transformed. And so that means being able to look at my work experience not as the particular job always that I have on a given day, but looking at it in terms of a vocational journey. I think that's helpful. I think it's particularly helpful when we're going through tough periods, even if we come to your question earlier that we've concluded that we need to make a change in our job or our career direction, Leah, sometimes we still have to exercise patience. Because the change is not necessarily gonna come always exactly when we want it.

LA: I hear that, and I feel like I should say for my boss, I'm not angling for a change of job, but I know, but I know that at other points in my life when I did not feel joy in my work, the problem was always elsewhere, it was never within me. The problem was always the people I worked with, the problem was my manager, the problem was the environment... The problem, I never thought the problem was me, and I think that's a trap that not only... I'll fess up to it, but I don't think I'm the only one who who has fallen into it, which I think is why it's so important for us to be talking about this message of how much control we have are over our own joy in our work. Mark, I wanna ask you your take on this, Romans chapter 8, verse 28, verse. And how do you think of your work or how do you think of all things working together for good in your career?

MR: Well, you know it's interesting, partly I'm thinking there's two translation options for that verse, and one is that all things work together for good, although increasingly you'll find translations actually say it a little differently, God is working all things together for good. That's the implication of the first translation, just the second one makes it clear and pretty much what, Shundrawn, you were saying that it isn't that everything is a good thing, some things are not good things, and in the workplace, some things can be evil, but that God is able to take even the things that we do for evil and work them together for good. And initially, that gives us a certain confidence and reassurance, but it also, like you just said, it encourages us to ask what might be the greater good that God is doing and how might this particular work experience be a part of God's larger thing, but even if I have no idea, but I have no idea how this is... How God is gonna redeem this, the affirmation and faith isn't known, but God is gonna use this and work on this and I'm just thinking of experiences I've had and experiences I've had of others. Years ago, I had a person working for me in an assistant role, and for her it was really kind of below her pay grade, and she was very disappointed that she needed to do that in life.

And she brought a really bad attitude into the workplace and it really greatly influenced her work, and this was one of those times where I did all the HR stuff, meeting with her and documenting it. Literally, I got to the end. I said, "This is our last meeting, and if something doesn't turn around, you're not gonna be able to stay here," and so we talked about that, we prayed. It was a church contact, so I prayed for her and that was the most amazing thing, the turnaround in her life, and I'm not taking any credit for it, but I asked her later like, "What happened to you?"

And she said, "After that talk, I went home and I realized, I need to do this job as a servant. I need to be a servant, God wants me to serve." And she didn't wanna serve. She made that choice, and that sort of shifted everything, and she went from being somebody who literally was in her last days, to somebody who flourished in the job. Now, again, I think God was working things for good in her life, but for a while it was really hard for her to see it. And so that gives us confidence to know, even I don't get it, God is working and will use this for his good and since it's his good, it's also part of my good ultimately.

LA: I love that story, Mark, 'cause it leads right into my next question for Shundrawn. So what encouragement, and this is the last question, and Mark you could weigh in too, but Shundrawn I'll ask you first, what encouragement would you give to someone who is not currently finding joy in their work, and what encouragement could you give them beyond, "You need an attitude adjustment." What's a gentle piece of encouragement.

ST: Yeah. So again, so I would never be presumptive. Like we said, there are a number of things that could contribute to that, but the encouragement that I would give them starts with, this is a point in time. So what I always say to people, "Don't make what I call permanent decisions based on temporary circumstances." So what I would say is, number one, really spend time doing deep self-reflection. You obviously should start, if you're a believer with the Bible, the Spirit will lead us in all things, but there are so many tools that we have. I'm the type of person, you name it, Myers-Briggs assessment, the Enneagram, you name it, I've done it.

Anything that gives you a sense into your own disposition and predisposition, your character, your inclinations, your personality type, because a lot of finding joy is going to start with knowing yourself and knowing the kind of circumstances in which you flourish even and especially if you're going to decide to make a change. Number two, I would tell the person, make sure you're investing in yourself. What happens sometimes is people find themselves at a point in their career or in a job that they don't like, but what's interesting is they're not using their time well. So I'll ask people, "So what are you doing? How are you investing in your development? What skills are you adding?" And if the answer to that is that they're not making...

LA: Watching Netflix at work. No, just kidding.

ST: Then how can they expect to move to that new place? Maybe what's going on in their life, it's a signal that... I say this jokingly, we have to get busy living. And so that's the second bit of encouragement: use the time well, invest in yourself, invest in your skill set, and that's just not, again, particular competencies on the technical side, that includes your leadership capacity, your emotional quotient, your team effectiveness. Invest in your skills. The third thing I would say is very important, invest in relationships, start with the relationships in the place that you work.

We spend most of our working hours there, and then think beyond that, because the key to experiencing your present circumstance better and the key to whatever your next opportunity is often, and in most instances, will come in the context of a relationship. And I'm not saying transactional in terms of your approach to relationships, I'm saying find ways to build meaningful relationships, sow into other people's lives, and it truly will come back to you. It will come back to you in the way that people will help and invest in you in the thing that you're doing today. In many instances, it will be the key to the next opportunity that you want professionally and personally.

LA: And that's so similar to the story that you told about the woman who you were encouraging, Mark. What kind of encouragement would you offer to folks who are not finding joy in their job right now?

MR: Sure. So one of the things, Shundrawn, that you talk about quite a bit is the connection of joy and gratitude, you got this great quote by Karl Barth in there that joy is the simplest form of gratitude. And I just know in my life that even if I've had a bad day or I'm in a bad stretch, there are still gifts. In one place in your book you talk about giving God the thanks for just the opportunity to work. I remember several years ago, I had a really serious disease and came close to death, and after I got back, it's just the fact that I was alive and could work for a while, I actually felt grateful.

Now, I kinda take it for granted again. So one of the things I would say to folks is, you don't have to deny the difficult things, and there's plenty in the Psalms that encourages us to pour out to God our laments and our upset-ness and our fears, and just all that sort of thing. But gratitude can be a huge way, not only to give God appropriate credit, but to begin to soften our own hearts and begin to reframe even difficult things. So even today, this was a really hard day, but Lord, in that conversation, I sensed your help there, and I thank you for it. And I just know in my own life if I can live into gratitude, that's a way to get out of a funk, but it's also a way to move toward joy and greater meaning.

LA: Shundrawn would you tell folks how they can find out more about this message of how they can find joy in their work.

ST: Sure. Well, so there are a couple of ways that they can connect with the mission, and the message. First of all, we have plenty of information at the website,, so that's S-H-U-N-D-R-A-W-N It's available on all major book distributor sites, so whatever your book site of choice is, and I won't do commercials for them, but it's available on all the major sites, and also I know people are increasingly into more the audio versions, and so we did concurrently with the release of the book, release an audio version. So there is also an audio version of the book available.

LA: So Shundrawn's book is called Discover Joy In Work: Transforming your Occupation into Vocation, and you can get it wherever major books are sold. You can get it on your downloadable device, which is what I did. So I could listen to it while I did the work of doing my dishes and the work of walking the dogs and all of that, so I hope folks would pick it up, and I hope everyone gets a little bit more joy their work, I think that'll make the whole world a more joyful place to be in.

ST: Absolutely.

MR: Yes, indeed. Well, Shundrawn, thank you. Great to have you on.

ST: Thank you, Mark.

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