Loving What You Do or Doing What You Love


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by Jayaram V

This essay is about how you can find ways to doing what you love most or loving what you do.

If you want to be successful and achieve peace and happiness in your life through work or a career, you must either like what you do or do what you like. Most people cannot choose what they like and have to settle with what life or circumstances offer them. In such an event, they have to develop a liking for whatever that life and circumstances offer them or force them to accept.

When you are at odds with the way your life is going or what is happening to you, you must be intelligent enough to control what you can do within your circumstances rather venting your anger and frustration upon life itself in unhealthy ways. In adversity it is better to adapt to situations and preserve yourself and your interests. You have to preserve the fighter in you and stand up to the challenges than making yourself and others unhappy, miserable and lost through irresponsible and immature behavior.

If you are young, you will have many opportunities to pursue a career or a profession which you love most. It is where parents and elders have a great responsibility to guide their young ones. However, if you are old and missed many opportunities to take control of your life, you may have to settle with what life has given you, or what you have accomplished, unless you have the courage to risk it all and change the direction of your life.

In life, a situation will arise, perhaps not once but several times, where people have to choose between loving what they do or doing what they love. It is the same as choosing between marrying someone your parents or elders have chosen for you or someone you truly love and with whom you would love to spend the rest of your life. The choice is mostly personal and cultural, but much of your happiness and wellbeing depend upon it. In the following discussion we offer a few strategies about pursuing both the options.

Doing what you love

If you want to be doing what you love most, you must pay attention to yourself and know how you can invest in yourself to realize your dreams or your vision. You must know your likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses, talents and abilities, what drives you and inspires you, what you want to achieve in life, who your role models are and why, where you want to see yourself in the next five or ten years, what goals you will likely to pursue and what type of life you want to lead, and so on.

You must also decide upon your priorities and what matters to you, whether peace and happiness or success and material reward. In other words, you must think through and come to a decision, by narrowing down your choices. For that, you may take the opinion or suggestions of those who know you and wish you well.

Once you make the choice, then you have to decide how you are going do it, what options and resources you have and how you can put them to best possible use.

It is not difficult to know your drive and your talents or your gut feelings. If you had a troubled childhood, if your self-esteem is weak, it will be difficult to make a clear decision about what you want to accomplish in life. Therefore, you may have to resolve those issues too.

Another important factor is the timing. If you make this decision early in your life, it will be better. If you delay and wait until you reach middle age or later, it will be difficult to adjust to a new lifestyle and risk any progress which you might have already accomplished.

However, there is no fixed rule about this. Some people do a job that pays them well even if they do not like it and wait for an opportunity to change. When they accumulate enough wealth, build a good network of relationships and earn recognition and influence, it will give them confidence and conviction to continue with their goals to do what they like most.

Whatever path you may choose to arrive at it, know that those who do what they love to do are the most blessed souls upon earth. They have a unique opportunity to express themselves and bring out the best. They may also face the risk of losing a lot or sacrificing many things to achieve it. One must be willing to take that risk, face that uncertainty and be willing to lose everything to choose this path and persevere on it.

Loving what you do

Many people do not have the luxury of choosing the work they love to do. Some people may have the opportunity to do it because they have supporting parents or friends or spouses or inherited substantial wealth to take risks or have mentors who stand with them and help them.

The rest have to be content with finding a suitable job which can help them meet their basic needs and few luxuries and survive. The majority of the people in the world fall in this group. Therefore, it is not an unusual situation, but a way of life into which people forced.

When you are forced into it by circumstances, or by your own making, you have to bring out your ingenuity and creativity to adapt to situations, compromise your goals and aspirations and make a living without severely upsetting yourself or suffering from depression and mental suffering.

How can you do that? You can do that by succeeding in whatever work in which you find yourself. You can do that by seeing the positive side of it, the advantages of doing it, see what you can appreciate about it, which aspects you like or where you can make your contribution.

You can also try to excel in it with extra effort by improving your knowledge, skills, relationships, behavior, performance, productivity, attitude, and decision making, controlling your emotions, conserving your resources and living with hope and optimism.

If you change your mindset and adapt yourself to appreciate whatever you have or do, and set higher standards for yourself, at some point you break through the shackles that life imposes upon you. You will earn recognition and appreciation.

When you pursue a career or job that is not to your liking but you are forced into it for whatever reason, it is important to remain balanced and disciplined, knowing that you are in it for survival, and your ultimate goal is to be happy, to enjoy life and do the best out of your circumstances.

Whether it is work, relationships, or your goals, what matter is your wellbeing and that of those who matter to you, who are important, who care for you and whose happiness, love and affection you cherish.

Sometimes by helping others and by making them happy, you can take off a lot of pressure and heaviness from your own heart. You can also find opportunities to do what you like on the side, without leaving the job or taking undue risks. You can do it through hobbies or by creating an additional stream of income, using your talents and skills.

When life does not give you what you want, you can either take sanctuary in yourself and work out your problem by finding answers and solutions, or you can seek solace in relationships that give you empathy, hope, encouragement and impartial and honest advice.

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