Doing What You Love Isn't Work

The oft heard thread during the Industrial Revolution declared that innovation and technological advancement would free up time for everybody. The ideal was a three day work week with leisure time dedicated to learning and creativity. Humanity would evolve and grow beyond the mundane. No one would starve, everyone would have what they needed to survive... Ah, utopia. The dream was possible, just not probable.

Perhaps the disappointment surrounding the loss of such an idealistic future led to work as a drudgery, a discouragement, a necessary evil, or at the least, a mind-numbing daily experience. That it's attached to a paycheck and the only means of survival seals the deal. Work is a four-letter word. Work sucks.

When idle hands are an idle mind didn't work, the next bit of wisdom opined that doing what you love isn't work. The motivational intent dwindles during a mind-numbing education and responsibility shrinks under repetitive, isolated tasks. People become as inanimate as mop handles and staplers. Potential is neutralized.

The simple act of identifying this sinkhole frees you from it. How's that? Creativity. Anything that you do can be done creatively. Even looking for the creativity in a mundane task is creative.

Meaning, satisfaction, potential, possibility, responsibility replace the mundane with life. Light the fire and be creative.


  1. are they smelling the armpits?lol reminds me on my younger days.. my aunt would tell me to kiss her armpits for 5 pesos lol

  2. oh and trust me it was a job for me lol

  3. LOL I'd say your aunt had a good business mind.

  4. That is one funny picture!

    I have posted on this subject too. Finding what you love is the key to being successful in life. So how do you find out what you love to do?

    Ask yourself this question. If you won the lottery tomorrow and never had to work again for money, what would you be willing to do for free?

    Because the answer to that question is what you love to do.

    And because you love to do it, you'll willingly put in the necessary time, effort and work that is required in order to be good at it.

  5. Ah, but then who would collect the trash, clean the latrine, wash the windows or mop the floor? Can anyone truthfully say that those are jobs that can be loved? Industry and automation just never stretched far enough to eliminate the undesirable jobs that need to be done.

  6. Theresa, what you've stated is true. However, unfortunately, that is how the world works sometimes.

    In my case, I grew up in a blue collar household. I've done heavy construction, lawn care work, and driven a garbage truck as well.

    But I've had a desire to be successful ever since I can remember. For over twenty years, I have sought answers in order to reach my goals. While others bought beer, I bought books. I made choices that were not always easy, but were best for me long term.

    From this process, I discovered the answer to my one question: What am I supposed to do with my life? And the way I came upon the answer was, this:

    If I won the lottery tomorrow and never had to work again for money, what would I be willing to do for free?

    The answer to that question is what I am supposed to do with my life.

    And because I love to do it, I'll willingly put in the necessary time, effort and work that is required in order to be good at it.

    I try to pass that on to others, in order to clarify things for them, save them time and give them a shortcut to reach their dreams.

  7. Mine way of coming to that same conclusion was a bit different than yours. What changed my 'nomad' ways was having a child and as a single parent, I had to do something more than what I was to give that child the life he deserved. That's the thing that got me focused.

    Still, it could never be something I didn't at least like doing in one way or another for a job. I put myself through school, and at one point did casework full time, taught at the college part time and played every single Friday and Saturday night. I had my two day jobs' pay direct deposited, and there were more than a few times that the guys in the band had to remind me to go up to the bar to get paid!

    Then, my son told me one Sunday as I was picking him up from my mother's, "wow, it's like I come to visit you once in awhile" and I had to give up playing. I got into full time teaching and gave up casework too.

    But, all along, what I do is what I love to do. Even if it's being a cashier at Walmart, I love the people and enjoy the job.

    There is something good in everything you do, no matter what. If I was picking trash, I'd enjoy being outside and seeing various neighborhoods. I'd interact with the people walking by me pushing a mop and enjoy that too. I'd have to think a bit about the latrine duty, but I'm sure I could come up with something. Finding the creativity about it would net the enjoyment.

    In a roundabout way, it's the same thing as what you're saying Paul. It doesn't matter as long as all paths lead to the same goal of positive and creative. Right?

  8. Ugh. Typos. But, I'll leave it as is.

  9. Nice exchange of views here :) I just miss you and your mind Theresa, I've not been in the net for quite sometime, too busy, but doing the things I love to do! - my priorities :)

    Love you and hugs! :)

  10. When I first started working in the computer field in 1994, I literally did not care if it was a Friday or a Monday. For the first two years I loved what I was doing. Working with great people helps.

    In 1980, after 3 months of a lot of intense training in something called "The Growth and Communication Program", I found myself in Bangor, Pennsylvania for "graduation" weekend. There were a dozen other people that were graduating with me. On the last day, I beat a mattress with a rolled up newspaper while yelling repeatedly, "no matter what and regardless of the circumstances, I will live my life out of the context "being satisfied"." This went on for at least an hour until everyone was finished. I literally could not move for at least 5 minutes after this was over. I think the point is that no matter what you are doing, you can choose to make it a satisfying experience.

    How much does that "smelling armpits" job pay anyway?

  11. Hi Romy! Good to see you again!

    I agree with you, John, that working with great people helps.

    Those encounter groups of the late 70s and 80s were a trip. They got locked into "catharsis" as the goal, and wouldn't settle for anything less.

    I was thinking the same, wondering about how much that job paid. I don't qualify myself - can't smell much nowadays. LOL

    Paul, I got to thinking about what you said about shortcuts, and I wonder about it. Can you explain more?

  12. Theresa - By shortcuts, I mean this, that it took me years of seeking and searching to find answers. I talked to many people, read a lot of books, listened to audios, and more.

    Now, I feel like I can save people time, effort and money by giving them the shortcut. I am, by nature, a teacher. So I can quickly get to the heart of the matter, and and least get people started on the right path.

    We plan to move back to North Carolina in two years, and I am going to do what I love to do - coach high school football.

    In the meantime, I'll continue in sales, and I sell something that I love - nutrition. I have sold other things in the past, including calling on all the schools in Arkansas selling teaching materials, and I was bored to tears.

  13. I'm working on my first cup of coffee for the day, so bear with me, Paul!

    It sounds like you do "reframing" and I've done the same with students and clients before. Years later, the feedback I've gotten was positive.

    I will be saving up to buy some of your vitamins, Paul, that's for sure!

  14. It seems like in this day and age people need so much more to be "happy" or "satisfied". I think so many people spend their lives never being happy with what they have or where they are. Of course there's something to be said for ambition and going for your dreams, but there's also a lot to be said for looking around and being thankful with what you've got. Or like you were saying, find something good, or interesting or productive in whatever it is you're doing.

  15. Doing what you love CAN be work - if you do it every single day. I have a friend who was into greenery as a hobby. He made it into his business a few years ago and was very happy about it then. I met him recently and his comment of "it really wasn't like what I expected" really struck an impression in me. I guess the fun was killed off when the hobby became obligatory.

    But, as you'd said, CREATIVITY can turn it around. 1 + 1 can be more than 2.

    Life IS living. And living takes whatever are required to live, like it or hate it. I guess the secret is how you make your heart respond to the situation, instead of how you let the situation affect your heart.

    Being a parent had helped anchored my inquisitive mind within this vast sea of life too. But I often wonder if this is not a "convenient" way of saying, "Hey, I found my purpose in life!"

    Do all these make sense?

  16. Carole and J - I think you both together hit the nail on the head: Finding/defining purpose.

    For me, taking the long way like Paul talks about, it was a matter of thinking through the difference between want and need. I went through all the stuff like that, defined all my rights and wrongs down to their bottom lines. Then, it was a matter of realizing that nothing going on in my little life was more important than helping others. Having defined my ethics, values and morals, I had a good framework to work within.

    J, I think there's a little more going on with it than that, and it is the key. Maybe. A person's character is built by the choices made in each situation. The overall attitude frames the perspective and the resulting decisions, and it is the layer that is totally by choice. If ethics, values and morals aren't defined, or they are only adopted/accepted from an outside source like parents, religion, then there will be holes in the integrity of the reactions and decisions. In other words, this external locus of control makes a fully functioning heart factor impossible. There is no way to be fully congruent without the heart and knowing what's in the heart.

    Carole, this is what brings people out of the trap of like/dislike, I think. It allows what J is saying too.