I had an interesting conversation today that I wanted to share with you. I write a lot about passions and careers and the idea behind following what you love to do so that when you go into work each day you are happy to be there, and you feel fulfilled.
I’ve mentioned a few times that I know people who are in careers that they loathe, and so their lives have become a countdown to the time they can retire. For me, this would be like counting down to my final days. I can’t imagine living this way.
Yet, we always here to avoid this scenario we should follow our passions in our career so that we are spending each day doing things that we love.
Do we like to write? We should become journalists.
Do we like to draw? We should become a graphic designer.
Do we enjoy numbers? We should become an accountant.
Do we like to heal others? We should become a doctor.
Today as I spoke with a girlfriend of mine we discussed the idea behind following your passion for a career. The problem? She did follow her passion, and she is doing the thing that she ‘loves’, but the day to day grind of it has actually made her despise what it was that she used to like to do.
Let me try to explain. My friend enjoys fitness. She runs, exercises regularly, bikes, hikes, you name it. She’s in great shape.
A while ago we began having talks about becoming certified as a fitness trainer, because it is something that has interested me for a while. She followed that route and took on a job with a local gym. Yet she isn’t happy.
Basically she said that she has fallen out of love with her passion for exercise because of the red tape involved.
I guess this could happen in any job. I love writing. I always thought I would wind up being a journalist or working for television as a writer. Then I wrote for the college newspaper, and I realized during that time that writing for fun and writing for a living were two different things.
Writing for a living entailed writing about what others wanted me to write about.
It meant being critiqued everytime I did the one thing that I felt I did the best.
It meant doing the thinng that I loved to do all of the time. Even if you love chocolate cake, you’d grow sick of it if you ate it morning, noon and night.
So, I could understand what she meant when she said that the love of her craft was being overshadowed.
Of course, the alternative is to be doing something that you don’t like and then dealing with the red tape on top of that. We will always have to follow rules when we work. We will always have to do things that we don’t enjoy doing (for me, this means bookkeeping and accounting tasks). We will always have to do what we do over and over and over again. So if we are doing something we love, wouldn’t that make us happier than doing something that we don’t love repeatedly?