I looked at my boss yesterday. I was bartending. He was busying himself picking up trash on the floor. The place was crowded. Everybody wanted something.
“What if you had a job you really liked everyday?” I asked him above the din.
He just smiled. “What a world it would be.”
See, both my boss and I don’t really like what we do for a living. But, times are tough and it’s a living. Not to mention that, even if you actually did have a job you liked going to everyday, some days it would still feel like a job. No matter how much you loved it. I’m not here to blog about that mythical “perfect existence” or whine about my current one. I’m here to delve into what I like to do as a means to a possible end for me as it pertains to my choice of work. You can come along if you wish or click the back button, it makes no difference to me. I’m not writing any of this for you.
Basically, the ideal job in life, in my opinion, boils down to passion. Follow your passion and you find yourself in an agreeable realm of work. Identifying those passions however can be difficult. For instance, somebody might say, “I like to watch baseball” or “I like to read.” Okay. Great. But what is it you like about those things? Is it the distraction they offer you? Is it recording statistics or exploring ideas? Is it the study of performance? Is it the questioning of knowledge, ability and technical understanding and how it pertains to output? What do you like about the things you like?
I enjoy writing. But what I really enjoy about writing is teaching somebody something new or sharing with them something they might not have known. Writing is not my passion, the latter is. I enjoy surfing, rugby, the pursuit of fitness and practicing mixed martial arts. While it’s true I enjoy the sport of these things what I’m really passionate about is testing myself; finding out who I am inside, finding out how much adversity I can take, finding out where I will break and pursuing my limitations.
When we realize not what we like to do, but the reasons we like doing them, then we have found our passion. The rest becomes elementary but no less challenging. Where can I work that will allow me to pursue my passion?
I have an idea what is right for me. We shall see if it is a fit when the time comes, because pursuit of purpose takes time… and, honestly, should never find an end. The work in our lives comes in positioning ourselves to take advantage of our passions when situations become available that allow us to pursue them. To be prepared, unafraid, willing and practical: a difficult recipe to get right.
Nevertheless, it shall always remain true, wherever we focus our attention we can find doors that yield to our passion. Walking through them is a completely separate choice. If we keep it simple, however, we can usually figure out what to do quite quickly.