Monday, September 15, 2014

Do We Need to Love What We Do?

We are often told that the greatest success comes to those that are doing what they love.  The
implication being of course that not loving what you do is somehow less, that you are never going to achieve success if the 'love' of your work escapes you.  This leads some to become demoralized about their work and still others to launch a lifelong quest to find that elusive 'thing' that they must love working at.  However, since many of us don't seem to be working at jobs that we love, it begs the question...

Do we Need to love what we do?

Even if you are currently working at something that you do love doing, there have likely been many jobs in the past that you were far less enthusiastic about.  Think about the first part-time job that you had as a teenager.  It likely wasn't work that you loved, but you probably loved having a job, having your own money to save or spend as you willed.  For me... working as a dishwasher in a pizza parlour was not my desired or ideal work, but having a part time job was the opportunity I was after.  I was excited to go to work not because I loved the work itself, but I loved the opportunity to prove myself, to develop my skills and... to get paid!

The message for those who are currently working in jobs they don't love (and you know who you are!) consider the following...

You don't have to love it.  Instead, learn to love the opportunity.

  • What new people are you getting the opportunity to meet.  One may become a friend for life. One may teach you something new.  Another may connect you to your next big opportunity. 
  • What new skills are you learning that can set you up for your next opportunity?  Don't overlook the value of developing your skills.  Push yourself to take full advantage of everything your current opportunity has to offer, never knowing exactly where and when you will need it, but knowing it is yet another skill in your personal toolkit.  It's portable.
  • What opportunities is this job providing for you outside of work?  Perhaps it's a means to an end.  This job is giving you the peace of mind and the income needed to enable you to pursue a hobby and passion that could perhaps represent your next opportunity.  Recognise and value your current job for what it provides.
  • What are you learning about yourself that helps build your confidence and open you to future opportunities?  Sometimes we need to build the base before we can start the climb.
  • What has this opportunity provided you and your family?  Not loving the job is not always necessary if you love its effect upon your life.  
Before you get discouraged, thinking that everyone but you is engaged in work that they love, remember that you just need to recognise and love the opportunity you have been given. Consider the following quote from the great Jim Rohn...

You might not like the stone you are on right now, but it's sure to be one of the stones that leads to great opportunities in the future.
It is not always finding work we love that leads us to success in life, but rather recognising the opportunities we have been given and taking full advantage of what we have.  Those open to learning from every opportunity are those that will grow, enjoying the journey as much as the destination.

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