You have heard many people say do what you love. This is absolutely true. But what if you can’t do what you love?
When you do what you love, amongst many other benefits, in times of adversity, it’s much easier to overcome the challenges that come your way. This is because you see the challenges as opportunities to help you better yourself. In contrast, when you are doing what you don’t love, your mind is already primed or conditioned to have a negative outlook or perception before you even tackle any challenge.
Others would say, do the things you don’t like, so that you can do what you love. Whilst I understand the underlying logic behind this, helping us to aspire for something greater (having a goal) and preventing us from being lazy. The major pitfall I see with this is the opportunity you miss to enjoy and even learn from the process.
So I propose a third view: Love What You Do.
I would realise the value the job created for the people who interacted with the product or service…
This comes from my personal experience. Doing jobs that I wasn’t passionate about — at all. I wasn’t motivated nor inspired and simply did them as a means to an end, be it monetary or otherwise. But what I found to be the most important reason for not liking these jobs, was that I simply could not find personal value in doing them. Taking monetary or any other material gain from it. Over time, I noticed a trend. In each job, there would be a point when I would realise the value the job created for the people who interacted with the product or service — it changed everything! I began to see how what I was doing, had a genuinely positive impact on people’s lives. Which is what I am passionate about — improving people’s lives and giving them meaningful experiences.
“Now, I was in the display and experience business.”
For instance, I once worked in a wholesale, sorting and packaging. On occasion I would also clean the toilets. Nothing glorious or exciting about that right? But when I realised that my sorting and packaging increased the overall aesthetic pleasantness of the product, which in turn helped customers have a better shopping experience, it changed everything. No longer merely sorting and packing, now I was in the display and experience business.
As for the toilet cleaning, I imagined what kind of toilet I would like to use when in store. Then I decided from that moment, every customer must have the best toilet experience than anywhere else. Similarly, when cleaning cars, it no longer was a mundane soap and water ritual, now I was in the grooming business.
Simply put, when we identify the value added to people’s lives, it changes our focus, shifts our thinking and completely transforms our overall perception of the work we are doing.
Over time, you will find that not only do you get greater fulfilment through your work, but you also unleash creativity and become more efficient.