Want to Succeed? Love What You Do!

13Jun

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Forget about "Do What You Love" and embrace "Love What You Do"

We live in a society that collectively values money over happiness because they think money will bring them happiness. Don't waste your time trying to point out the irony in that belief because these people are true believers and you will not sway them.

I follow a different belief. I define success as having enough money to pay for the things I need and the time to do the things I want to do. It's called a work-life balance and the only way to achieve that is to LOVE WHAT YOU DO.

Some people say we should find our passion and do what we love. It sounds good, who wouldn't want to spend their days following their bliss? The thing is most of us have no idea what that is. Do you know what would you do if you could earn a living doing anything? I certainly don't.

What we can do is find a happy medium. We all have days that are frustrating, but there have to be more good days than bad. When you love what you do it makes it easier to overcome the challenges. When we spend that much time pursuing a single activity it cannot just be about the paycheck. There are going to be days when you hate the menial tasks, you can't stand the sound of your coworker slurping his coffee and you wonder if the stick could go any further up your manager's butt and that's okay.

But it becomes a problem is when that describes your job every day.

People are hardwired to be productive. We enjoy the sense of accomplishment that comes from doing things and a large part of our ability to be productive and accomplish things relies on enjoying what we're doing. I don't know about you, but I find it a whole lot easier to overlook an annoying co-worker when I like what I'm doing.

It's all about the return on your investment.

We all do things every day that we don't particularly enjoy because we know that the reward is greater than the effort. Maybe you hate bookkeeping, but you know you won't get paid if you don't send the bill or maybe you really, really dislike doing laundry, but you like clean clothes even more.

It's much easier to overcome the small hurdles when we know there is a reward on the back end. It's what successful people do. They set themselves up so the value of what they're getting is greater than the cost.

It goes back to how you define success.

What's important to you? Is it money? Prestige? Being able to make your own hours or spending time with family? What do you enjoy doing? Are you a troubleshooter? A techie? Maybe you enjoy working with people. And what are your skills, what are good at?

Make a simple Venn diagram and put the answer to each of these questions in a separate circle

  • what's important to you?
  • what do you enjoy doing?
  • what are you good at?

Your perfect job is where those three circles intersect.

Once let go of other people's ideal and embrace your own, you may just find that the job you love is 180 degrees different than what you're doing right now. 

The next time you have one of those soul-crushing moments take a step back and consider what you love about your job and what drives you nuts. 

You may find that it's something you can fix, but if you truly hate everything about what you do then it's time to find a way to use your skills in a new way and move on.

Misc. Links From the Podcast

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