Do the work that you love to do
When I was eleven years old, I was exposed to my first computer. I loved working on it, entering complex instructions and seeing the computer do what I had told it to do. I drove my Dad nuts until he finally gave in and bought me one of my own. I cannot even imagine how many hours I spent programming that computer, but I would suspect it just might be one of the best investments my father ever made.
I love computers and love working with them. The creativity involved in writing a good clean program and the reward I receive when I finally make it do exactly what I want lines up perfectly with the way I am wired. I was fortunate and realized all of this at an early age. I knew exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up and I pursued it aggressively. The best part? I got paid to do something I loved to do.
Do what you love to do
I thought about all of this as my 13 year old son and I were talking the other day. He is going through the process of trying to figure out what he wants to be when he grows up. He hasn’t had that life changing moment like I did at 12. He’s talked about being a pilot for years, and now suddenly was talking about being a surgeon. I asked him why and his reply was “They make a ton of money.”
We talked for a while and I expressed to him that no matter what you choose to do in life, make sure you do something that you love to do because you’re going to be doing it for a very long time. Sure, making lots of money is attractive, but the money only buys short term happiness. If you hate your job, the satisfaction the money brings will only last a short while.
My advice to him that I’ll share with you is: Do what you love to do – Determine what that is and go find somebody that will pay you do it.
Finding what you love to do
I believe that God created us for a purpose (if you want to find yours, I highly recommend The purpose driven life). He gave each of us different talents and abilities to serve that purpose. It took me almost 40 years to find my purpose, but I firmly believe it is to teach. That is why I write here on Gather Little by Little, it’s why I love being a manager, and why I love being a father. Once you find your God given talents and abilities, you’ll not only be able to do your best, but you’ll be happy as well. Trust me, there is nothing in world like looking forward to going to work on Monday morning. When I was a software developer, I truly looked forward to each day. Now I look forward to writing here on Gather Little by Little each day.
Here are some ways to help you find what you love to do:
- What are your hobbies? What do you do when you’re at home and on your own time? Make a list of these things, and pick the one or two that you truly love to do. Make another list of possible ways to make money doing those things.
- Find the one thing. Put all of your responsibilities aside and ask yourself: What is the one thing you would like to do?
- Read 48 days to the work you love. This book, by Dan Miller will walk you through a 48 day process of not only helping you to do determine what you talents are but how to take action and get the job you love doing. Really great read and highly recommended. Dan’s book was one of the things that encouraged me to start Gather Little by Little.
- Don’t worry about the opinions of others. As you try to find the work you love, others will try to rain on your parade. Don’t let this happen. Of course listen carefully to those that you trust and love, but don’t worry about anybody else. Oh, and remember those same people are most likely doing a job they hate.
- Don’t be discouraged. Finding the work that love is hard and can take time. Often we’ve done something for so long, that making the transition to something else is not only difficult to do, but scary. Take your time, but be diligent.
- Don’t jump in head first. Some may disagree with me on this, but I wouldn’t recommend jumping in head first. This is particularly true if you have people that depend on you and your income. I recommend starting off part time and putting a plan in place to transition to full-time. Jumping in head first may give you the work you love, but an inability to pay the bills.
For some, finding the work they love will come easily and quickly, for others it will take time. You will struggle and you may even have to try a few different things. Some will fail and some will succeed. The trick is find the thing you love to do and being able to make it succeed. Remember also, that just because you’ve found what you love to do, doesn’t mean that you can do it now. It may take a while, so put a plan in place on how you’re going to get there.
One more thing, many people know what they love to do, they want to do it, but never execute. Don’t make this mistake. Once you know what you would like to do, begin taking steps to do it. Don’t hesitate or else you may never do it.
1 Corinthians 10:31 – So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
Are you doing what you love to do? If so, how about sharing your story with others. Not doing what you love to do? How about sharing with us what you want to do along with the first step you’ll take to begin doing it.
Photo by: DavidAll06