Monday, October 10, 2011

Do What You Love & Love What You Do

I have struggled with this since I took the job in Atlanta right after graduation that I knew I didn't want. I took it because it was a great salary right out of grad school, and the thought of moving to a new city was exciting. While I loved my weekends out on the town, I dreaded the week days that were filled with anxiety, boredom, and doing stupid S-H-I-T-T-Y work that I didn't care about.

Next up was a stint designing clothing. At first it was interesting because I was learning a lot. But once that learning curve was over I quickly grew tired of the work. I wasn't in love with it.

After that I started working with my father on a few of his small businesses. While I enjoy the work (a lot of graphic design, websites, and organizing), the flexible schedule, and getting to see him every day, after about a year and a half I was loosing enthusiasm for what I was doing.

I am now 29 and I just recently I had a heart to heart with myself about what it is that I love doing. I love to cook. I could do it all day every day. I love organizing things- a closet, a filing cabinet, my garage- it doesn't matter. I love designing- graphic design, interior design. I love making things- hair clips, things out of concrete, paintings. I love learning new things- I have had a new found love (some would call it an obsession) with eating healthy to prevent cancer and other chronic illnesses.

I realized that I need to focus on what I love doing. I am not good at being unhappy. I have always heard that if you do what you love then the rest will fall into place. I have previously taken jobs because of the money, and it backfired. Until recently I never really thought about how I could incorporate what I love doing into a career.

I suggest everyone think about it. You may find that you really do love what you do- if so congratulations! You may realize that you are not really doing something that you love, but may not be able to make a career change right away. That's OK. At least it will give you something to look forward to and be excited about. Ultimately you can change your career, I have done it 3 times already. Yeah I took a huge pay cut, but what I am doing now does not seem like work. I get to learn new things every day, cook and tell people about it, and make positive changes in my life. The money will come. (I never turn down donations if you are feeling generous today ;) And at the end of the day, I would much rather be a little bit poorer and doing something that I love than richer with miserable days.

Think about spend at least 8 hours a day at work, with your crappy coworkers, doing work that you probably don't care about. That is 1/3 of your life.

It is sad when you see people who really love what they do pass away at an early age. I know it is old news that Steve Jobs died, but I thought it appropriate to include something he said because it's right in line with what I am writing about.
"Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do," he told the Stanford grads in 2005.
"If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on."
Food for thought!

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