“Do what you love,”
“Do what you are truly passionate about.”
This type of advice gets thrown around a lot. But how on earth do you become passionate about something?
Imagine a scenario where you love your work. When your work doesn’t feel like work. When other people look at you with envious eyes, wishing they could have the same calm and resolve that you display in pursuing your vocation.
I have struggled with this for the longest, I confess. But now, I feel that my work and play are the same, by God’s Grace. I am always working in the sense that I do not stop thinking about it, and I am hardly working in the sense that I don’t feel bad about slaving away at my chosen profession(s).
So, how do you love your work?
Simple. Either love what you do. Or do what you love.
And here’s how.
The Opposite of Passion
Most of us
bitch complain about our work and never really try to love it. Ask them how is work, and they shrug their shoulders as if their work is the worst part of their day. Maybe this is why you see people standing around the water cooler, whining their talents away.
Or we think we love one thing but never seriously attempt to do it. We dream about it, but never really plan for it. We keep telling ourselves that “one day” we will do what we love. It becomes part of our retirement plan. And when we do retire, we realise our dreams were not as “lovely” as we thought they’d be. Then what would you do?
Maybe the thing you love is not what you really wanted. You think you are passionate about it, but you never really take concrete actions to find out.
So how do we either love what we do, or do what we love?
Love what you do by trying to love what you do.
I played the part of Romeo for a college play. Don’t worry, it was a comedy play so I fit the role perfectly. But actors all around the world employ this basic technique that I think can change the way you approach your work. It’s called method acting.
To play the part of a gangster in a movie, an actor would pretend to be a gangster. You pretend by trying to copy their actions, and understanding their emotions. Robert De Niro got a part of a taxi driver, and he went around in taxis to observe taxi drivers. In detail. So he could copy them. Pretend better.
So next time, act as if you love your work. Observe someone whom you think loves his/her work. Try to copy them. Pretend. Let your imagination run with it. Start with a “what if I am someone who actually does truly enjoy and love my work?” or something.
It’s not a question of faking it. It’s a question of training your mind to see the other side.
Maybe there is a person within you who loves the work. Who knows. You will never know till you find out. Or try to. What’s there to lose? Look at the bright side, you will have one less boring day at work. And imagine the up side: you will say “I love my work” and actually mean it! This will start to show and you will be much better at what you do!
And what if you love one thing and have never really tried it?
You have to become adventurous to try out the things you think you love. Trying out new hobbies is the most serious of things you can do to know more about your passions. Of course, it will not look serious as you will be having so much fun. Imagine that!
The triathlon that I am training for is part of an adventure. The 3 mile run that I breezed through recently and felt awesome afterwards, is an adventure. This blog that I write, the readers that I meet, the community that I try to serve, are and were part of “experiments” and “adventures” that have panned out. It’s work through and through. And it’s fun.
On the other hand, I thought I loved electronics. The ICs, striped transistors and breadboards always seemed to be my cup of tea. Till I actually got my hands on a multimeter. I realised that my “love” for electronics was pretty much short-circuited right out of the box. I can safely say now that although I enjoy electronics, it is not something I would give up sleep for.
And that’s the ultimate test: giving up sleep. Do you imagine yourself waking up to do [insert work here]? If yes, then that’s a very, very good start. Maybe you could try waking up for it once in a while. Do it the first thing in the morning. Let’s see how it pans out.
Saying you love something and doing nothing about it is a brilliant recipe to dream your life away. Don’t do that please. Here, take this cap of adventure, put it on your head and start experimenting. Find out. It’s liberating, it’s fun and heck, it might as well lead to the best work of your life.
Thanks to Chris Brogan and our not-so-secret team, I have recently committed to writing 20,000 words in 20 days. That’s 1000 words per day. As any writer worth the ink in his/her pen will tell you, that’s not a large target. But writing consistently for 20 days is kind of a big deal for me. That’s my attempt at finding my limit, and more importantly, it’s about nurturing my hobby.
Your passion will not fall out of the sky and into your lap. It probably is hidden and needs to be nurtured. It needs to be cajoled from a passing interest into a lifelong hobby.
Are you passionate about your work? Or you feel you have not found your calling? Share your thoughts in the comment section of this article.
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