There is little in life more appealing than doing what you love to do for your work.
Formulas don’t work here.
Yesterday’s answers to the big question are today’s boredom. “Doing what you love” requires constant vigilance, to stay current, renewed and true to who you have become. Whenever, wherever we put our attention, focus, love, energy and good will into some project, a certain type of fulfillment, peace, even joy will be produced. When I’ve done my very best and I know that I have, then I can accept the result with some degree of grace. No need to look back. The result is always out of my hands. I’ll always have my hopes, but the success of a project probably shouldn’t be judged on achievement of an intended result. Perhaps doing your best is its own reward. Living fully , risking something, being vulnerable and true, and just working on something meaningful is enough, more than enough.
Make no mistake, doing what you love for your work or your life is polar opposite to a daydream. It’s a combination of knowing yourself and being ready to learn lots more, personal courage, vision, passion, willingness to risk, and hard work. Do what you love and succeeding is not for chickens. It will test everything you got and everything you are. It is rare that the perfect opportunity falls at your feet. If you simply want to daydream, that’s fine, just do that and enjoy it and don’t pretend it is anything other than fluff. I do that all the time with ideas of where to travel or new businesses to start.
Doing what you love is about giving yourself the opportunity to do your best, be your best and be happy for finding and following the path. I’ve always found myself to be profoundly grateful when on this path.
This is the land of no excuses. It is exactly what it is, at all times. Stories, interpretations and justifications change nothing. Here one finds one’s own joy or pain. This is your only true choice, to choose joy or pain, gratitude or upset, satisfaction or blame.
It’s hard to remember at times, it isn’t the result that satisfies, at least not for more than a few minutes. The result is your living experience, minute by minute through the day.
At a certain level “loving what you do” is a declaration not just an emotion that you check in with to see if you are happy. Renewing the declaration of “I love this work,” re-frames the day-to-day irritations to your original the vision, passion, courage, risks and hard work. Am I using my gifts? Am I experiencing satisfaction, gratitude and connection to my work? It’s all an inner process. You do get what you give.
I’m often a bit embarrassed by my passion for my work. As I walk through The Collection with clients, memories and stories bubble up and I get lost in time talking about a piece of furniture or an old stone carving, and then another artifact or the story of where or how I found it. Then I’ll catch myself and start to apologize for my passion and I’m relieved to know the people “on tour” (or anywhere in life) are inspired by people with passion. We are all happy to be inspired, want to be inspired, even need to be inspired to see the beauty and joy in life. Please, for all of us, share what you are passionate about with the rest of us, not the story of the passion — the passion itself.
I just saw a DVD of the artist Andy Goldsworthy at work called “Time and Tides”– utterly inspiring. One man’s passion for beauty and understanding. It reminds me that I can choose that life of passion daily. That in fact I must choose that life, over and over.
I do find that there is satisfaction in getting better at some of the daily tasks, I do and in learning new skills. E-mail was unknown and unwanted territory, now I look forward to it. Planning projects and finding the right people to do them well, even pay the bills more efficiently is satisfying.
I have learned to travel better, enjoy my time on long flights rather than being tortured by them…. to wear comfortable clothes, to pack less, listen more…. little things. Oh yes – and to live with gratitude and to forgive …. not such little things.