Do what you love. We’ve heard that phrase a million times. It sounds so simple, so obvious, that we don’t really catch it for what it is: bad advice. Related: 5 Things Successful People Do Before Breakfast "What’s that?" you say. "I shouldn’t do what I love?" Well, in a way, no you shouldn’t. But before you have a panic attack, let’s back up. I’m not asking you to resign yourself to a life of paper pushing and boredom. I would never do that to you. To get the life you want, I’m asking you to be intentional rather than indulgent. That’s a big concept, so let’s unpack it.
How To Be Successful And Happy At WorkRealistically, there are plenty of things that we love to do that either we A) can’t really make a living doing (champion Nerf gun fighter, anyone?), or B) might love, but aren’t quite good enough to pursue as a means of income (like my friend who loves to cook). There’s also the very realistic chance that while we might be able to do what we love for a living, the pressure of having to earn an income off our first passion can suck the joy right out of it. I’ve seen that happen so many times. If we insist on only doing what we love for a living, it can be shockingly detrimental to our life’s potential. Take the example of Steve Jobs. As author Cal Newport points out, if he’d done what he loved, he would have spent his life as a Zen teacher, walking around barefoot. But clearly, that would have missed the boat of his true and full potential. Here’s an alarming truth: if you’re willing to stop this endless quest of “doing what you love,” I guarantee you’ll find yourself much happier, much more fulfilled, and much more successful. Find what it is that you are good at and use it as the vehicle so you can “get to” do what you love most. How? Let’s break this down a little bit further: I want you to whip out your journal and write down the answers to the following questions:
- What are your strengths?
- What do you absolutely hate doing?
- What are your personality traits?
- What activities do you find yourself engaged in when doing them? In other words, what keeps you from checking your watch?