I recently read an article entitled “In the Name of Love”. According to the way, I read the article the author, someone who is obviously one of those elite they seem to disdain so much, anyone who works a job where they are required to “work” can’t love what they do. The author
The phrase “Do what you love, and love what you do”, is taken by many to mean as Whoopie Goldberg put it in Sister Act 2 (yes I’m really reaching for these references): “When you wake up in the morning, and you can think of nothing but writing... then you're a writer.”
This is the wrong way of thinking. If it were a “truth”, then my son is supposed to sit in his PJs playing video games for the rest of his life. I don’t need to tell you, that is not going to happen.
I don’t know, and honestly could care less, where the phrase came from. Like many ideas and philosophies in this life, there are many interpretations. And as human beings we read what we want to into what others say.
You don’t have to be an artist to enjoy your work. (According to some, you have to do just the opposite and suffer to make “great” art.) I have met mathematicians who get giddy at the thought of working a 3-page math problem. I have also met landscapers who find nothing better than to be up to their knees and elbows in mud.
This does not mean that every moment that they “work” they are happy and smiling. It also doesn’t mean that those people who have achieved the “Dream Employment” of World Renowned Actor or Award Winning Author, have not and do not struggle.
We rush to judgment when we look only at the end results, and we destroy dreams when we imagine that there is no struggle in achieving them.
They are also forgetting the little “and” word in the middle. It doesn’t say while, it says and.
I know a man whose entire carrier was as a janitor. It did not matter whether he was picking up trash, mopping a floor or scrubbing a toilet, most days he had a smile on his face. He was constantly humming or singing to himself.
He did what he loved. No, he didn’t love cleaning toilets. He loved making sure his family was taken care of, that they would have food to eat and a roof over their head.
He also loved what he did. He loved taking something and making it clean, renewing in a way the usefulness of a thing. He took pride in his work knowing that even if only the smallest of ways, his job made someone else’s life a little better, a little easier.
Does anyone want to work with a person who is always grouchy? No. Does anyone want to work at a job they hate, every single day? I would hope not, there are lots of choices out there.
So maybe to make that author and so many people out there feel better about that phrase we should change it. No, I think not. I like it the way it is. Take joy in the moment. “Do what you love, and love what you do.” It doesn’t just apply to employment it applies to life.