“Do what you love and you won’t work a day in your life.”
This quote gets thrown around like a guiding principle for life. Find your passion. Do what you love. Don’t settle. Don’t work.
For many, passion has become the number one deciding factor in pursuing careers. And it can be confusing, misleading, and wrong for so many people.
During times of career challenges, I have listened to people ask my husband: What are you passionate about? He couldn’t think of one thing, at least relative to work. He had been in sales and, as anyone who knew my husband could attest, sales was definitely not his passion. But he couldn’t think of a passion which would lead him to a new job. That question often led to discouragement.
I think a better principle might be: “Be passionate about your life and you will find a million ways to be passionate about your job.” Then, even though you may have a job that isn’t your passion, you see a bigger picture. Maybe seemingly “lesser values” need to come forward again. Maybe values like respect, faithfulness, excellence, and kindness are not fully developed and need to come forth.
Being passionate about life can influence so many others. It is how we think about our everyday, ordinary lives. No matter what our circumstances—which, by the way, are always in flux.
Knowing our value apart from what we do is paramount. If we wait to find our passion or decide that life only counts when we are living our dream, we miss a lot of life. It’s not about resigning to life as it is, but rather having a confidence that I am where I am for a reason. It isn’t a lazy “settling,” but a purposeful trusting. We need to recognize that the everyday things of today are training us for tomorrow. Which may or may not translate to “having the job we love.”
My husband eventually got another sales job. It was not his “dream job,” but he has given it everything he has, has treated people with respect, and has valued his customers with the highest level of customer service. The man without a passion for sales just got named one of the top sales reps in the country. And rewarded with an amazing trip to sunny tropical places!
Follow dreams, passions, and adventure whenever that is the right course. But always remember that our lives are intrinsically valuable apart from what we do. If we are passionate about our lives, every day affords the opportunity to practice excellence, respect, and kindness. We can make our everyday ordinary lives look like they matter a whole lot. Because really, they do.
“How we do anything is how we do everything.”