Work you love

August 18, 2014

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” -Confucius

This is one of those bits of wisdom that does damage to many people. The conceit is that you must find a fun job–the kind of job you would do even if you weren’t getting paid–to obtain happiness. But what about the truck drivers, the retail clerks, and the janitors? Are they doomed?

I prefer this:

“If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.”

That’s not quite the same. The first implies that you must choose a job you presumably already love, while the second simply says you should do something you love.

Here’s the one I like most of all:

“Do work you love, or love the work you do. Though obviously some work is easier to love than others.” -Stilts

Yes, I just quoted myself. Let it never be said I lack in ego.

The idea that we must choose a job we love is damaging, because not everyone can do that. We still need people to do the messy jobs. And yes, I’m aware of the hypocrisy of this coming from me, a man who is trying to become an author.

Yet it’s far easier to learn to love the work you do rather than go to the ridiculous (and liable to fail) lengths I’m going to do work I love. It’s better to find contentedness now, if only so you’re happy while you’re working toward the work you really want to be doing.

But some jobs are certainly easier to love than others. First try to find work you can love. Then do everything you can to love the work you’re doing. Doing work you love is a happy accident as much as anything, so don’t pin all of your hopes on that.

Just because I’m an idiot who can’t take his eyes off his goal doesn’t mean you have to be as well. You can be if you want to, just try to love what you’re doing along the way.

I’m still working on that.

As always, thank you for using my Amazon Affiliate link (info).

By Stephen W. Gee

Author of Wage Slave Rebellion, Freelance Heroics, and about two good blog posts out of a hundred.

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