“Do what you love and you will never work a day in your life.”
Can we talk about this statement please!
So I remember the first time I heard this magical quote, it was coming from the mouth of a very happy man who owned a taco food truck and I remember thinking ‘look at how freaking happy he is’ and I like everyone who was watching whatever show it was, started to melt at the idea and how true that seemed right then and there.
It hit me profoundly, because, yeah!- work shouldn’t be boring, stressful or make me want to cry just by thinking about it right?
Work should be something I look forward to, something I thoroughly enjoy doing day in and day out and something that allows me to learn new skills and then apply them. Work should be something that I am passionate about and that grows right along with me.
Then, no less than five seconds later, my old school training came back to me and all those amazing, magical thoughts I had about loving work, came crashing down like an empty glass being pushed off the table by a indifferent cat , impassively watching as the glass shatters upon impact to the cold tiled floor.
What could have been the thought that triggered this level of destruction?
“ But he doesn’t look like he makes a lot of money…and isn’t that food truck situation super risky and not financially secure?”
And yeah, just like that I remembered every one of my teachings that had been ingrained in me about needing money,
needing my money to come from a secure and dependable source,
needing to make a whole lot of money
and the belief that a lot of money could only come to me if I was as endlessly industrious as those freaking ants…because no one wanted to be that slacker grasshopper and then be totally screwed!
(Even though if you looked at that story in a different light, the grasshopper played music for those ants and then the Universe provided for the grasshopper via those same ants).
And so I did what any normal, red blooded female who had been taught that life was hard and making money was the only thing that would make your whole world go round, I thought about my skills and talents, picked the ones that Society seemed to pay a reasonable amount for, that I didn’t hate and I applied for a job at all the places that I prayed would pay me.
I was not thinking about myself in terms of what actually landing this job would entail or even mean.
All I thought about was the fact that I had a University degree that I was now pretty sure I was actually never going to get a chance to use, three Associate degrees that I was definitely not going to gain money from and I needed to show my parents that I had not infact wasted time on the subjects that I had loved at the time.
So basically I needed a well paying job to justify my ‘higher education’ that I partly paid for with my temp job as a Sales Clerk in a High-end Shoes Store, also because I desperately did not want to continue to work in the shoe’s store after so many years of freaking study!
And for a while I admit that I was very happy! I felt as if I had cheated the system, because my job was perfect!
I wrote for a living and it was decent pay- though I wished it was more, even as I didn’t expect it to ever be and I got to learn new skills, meet new people and eventually move out of my parents place and into a shared space with my then boyfriend.
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So in a very real sense to my mind, “I was doing what I loved!” and it paid well enough.
And it was almost perfect, as perfect as my young brain could imagine it could get….until of course, it was not.
Until I was no longer doing what I loved, because the atmosphere had changed and I was starting to feel anxious, starting to realize that while I loved writing, meeting people, sharing their stories, I no longer enjoyed doing so in the environment I was doing it in.
So the catch to this fairy tale is that all too soon, the job brought with it all the stresses, pressures, drama and time constraints that I could not help but to shaft at, and I was now working at all hours, felt like I was no longer in control of my time or where I had to go for work and my boss had me on call always.
And the worst part was that I believed deeply that I would never get a better job or money making opportunity than this.
So what was I going to do?
I genuinely did not like the ‘how’ of what I was doing anymore, but I felt as if all the reasons this felt so wrong to me were not actually valid enough for me to leave and so that level of impotence and anger built up in me, trapping me, stifling me and slowly I went from a happy person to one that was not and let’s just say it does not take very long for misery to infect all aspects of your life.
Eventually I realized that I was torturing myself for no reason and poisoning my own well of happiness, and all because I was terrified that this thing that I had outgrown was all I was ever going to have.
Why was it that I was placing everything over my own happiness?
Why was it that I was convinced that my happiness did not matter and needed to be sidelined in favour of bills and my superior’s needs?
One day, I remembered the quote: “Do what you love and you will never work a day in your life.”
And it truly hit me the significance of this quote as it relates to my own life.
It made me realize that I had sacrificed a lot of myself to my old training and I wanted to have new teachings.
I wanted to actually give myself permission to allow myself to ‘ do what I love’, I wanted to be working for hours and hours on something I genuinely enjoyed because yeah that’s technically hard work, but I’d be smiling, I’d be happy and I would have no complaints.
I wanted to have to be dragged away from work, instead of being eager to get away from it and the most important thing I realized was that I owed it to myself and the rest of my life to have that experience.
This meant that I needed to find out what I loved to do, what I truly enjoyed and then to be brave enough to pursue it.
And this would not be based on how much money I thought it would bring, not on psyching myself up to do it and knowing in my soul I was settling, or that I was doing it to please others, while I found no pleasure in it.
I wanted to experience that quote- I wanted to love what I do and never feel like I was ‘working’ ie stressing, frustrated, wanting to escape it.
And to do that, I had to realize what I wanted for my life, not just financially, but on the real scale, the This is ME scale. I had to be brave enough to pursue a healthy relationship with myself where I got to know myself, my likes, dislikes, loves and desires and validate them.
I had to relearn the way I spoke to myself, the things I did, how I took care of myself, and allowed happiness to enter into my life.
This came with repetition, with patience, with the understanding of unconditional love, support and the importance of my own health.
This allowed me to clear away some of the misery I had been harbouring and to bring light into my life.
The more I did it the more I realized where my passions lied and I want that for you as well.
You deserve to allow yourself to feel truly happy, to feel that sensation emanating from your heart and spilling to fill up your body.
To wake up and smile because today you GET to do what you love and it easily supports your whole life.
The only question is : What are you waiting for to truly get to know yourself?