I’m sure you’ve heard the Confucius quote: “Do what you love and you’ll never work another day in your life.”
Well, that’s a bunch of hooey!
Greg, language! I thought this was a family-friendly website. And, I’m a little surprised. Aren’t you always telling us to follow our Passionate Purpose and do work we love?
Yes, and I stick by that. I’m an optimist. I’m a glass is half-full guy (preferably with Boulevard Wheat beer). It’s a lot better to work at something you love than to work at something you hate. It’s a great idea to follow your Passionate Purpose in your career.
But, I’m also a realist. No matter how much you love your work, it’s still work. There is something in every job that’s a pain. I don’t want people to give up on something because it still feels like work, 0r they don’t like some parts of what they’re doing.
Here’s what I mean. Let’s say you love playing guitar and singing. Your dream job would be the lead singer in a rock band. Then, imagine you get the gig. Awesome! You never work another day in your life, right? Not exactly.
You need to write songs, rehearse, play small gigs, record an album, rehearse some more, promote the album, go on tour, deal with other band members…
Even if your band becomes a huge success do you think you’d never get tired of the travel and time away from family and friends? Think you’d ever get tired of playing the same songs night after night? Think someone in the band might really start to get on your nerves? Have you ever watched, VH1 Behind the Music? Come on!
“Nothing is as important as passion. No matter what you want to do with your life, be passionate.”
– Jon Bon Jovi
I bet LeBron James gets tired of working out and going to practice sometimes, even though he loves playing basketball.
The point is that no matter how much you love something, work is still work. There are good points and bad points to any job.
We need to understand that going in, instead of having this idea that our life will be nothing but rainbows and puppy dogs once we start doing what we love.
Uh, Greg, what if I don’t like puppy dogs?
Dude, I can’t help someone who doesn’t like puppy dogs.
What I advocate is finding your purpose – how you want to make a difference in this world, and your passion – what you love to do, and matching that up with what you’re good at. Then work on ways to serve people and make money doing that.
Then keep working on it and become world class at it. You’ll still have to work, but the work will be a lot more fun.
In Grit, by Angela Duckworth, she says you need four things to stick with your high order, long-term goals. The first one relates to what we’re talking about.
Interest – Without interest in something, you won’t stay with it for the long haul. And it won’t be something you’re passionate about and learn to love.
Passion begins with enjoying what you do. That’s where we start. If you’re not sure, get my free eBook, 5 Steps to Finding Your Purpose. It will walk you through a series of questions that will help you come up with some ideas.
Then you need to pick the one that resonates the most with you and feed that interest. Take action on it. Try things that are related to it. Keep sparking it and see if your interest turns into a passion. If it doesn’t, try another one of your possible passions. Feed that one and see what grows. Keep doing this until you find the one that hits home with you.
A lot of people think there will be some Aha! moment when the Red Sea parts, or they’re struck by lightning, or a booming voice from the heavens says, THIS IS YOUR PASSIONATE PURPOSE. DO THIS FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. This happens for an extremely tiny number of people. The rest of us have to try on a bunch of our different interests and grow our passion. But that doesn’t make it any less real, important, or life changing.
When you’ve grown into your passion, when you know this is what you were meant to do, and you love what you’re doing, your golden, right? Now you’ll never work another day in your life.
What have we been talking about? No matter how much you love your job, it’s still work. Everyone has parts of their job they don’t like. But because you’re doing something you love, you’re enjoying most of the work. You’re enjoying the process of achieving your goals. You know you’re doing something that has meaning and significance and makes a difference. You’re still tired after a hard day of work, but it’s the good kind of tired.
It sure beats doing something you don’t care about, or something you hate. It’s not too late for you to find it and start doing it. Remember, you can start small, try it out, and grow into it. Who knows, it might become your Passionate Purpose and your new career. It might lead to you helping more people than you ever have before. And that might lead to you making more money than you ever have before. That would be a cool bonus wouldn’t it?
It might even help the guy who doesn’t like puppy dogs.