If you do what you love...
There’s an old saying, “If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.” Oh, don't get me wrong, you’ll work. To succeed at anything, you’ll probably work thousands of hours. But it will feel like play. Because when you do what you love, your creative juices are flowing, you feel alive and with a sense of purpose, and time flies. On the other hand, when you do something you hate, time drags, and you can’t wait to get away from it so that your "real life" can begin. That’s no way to live, and you don’t have to live that way. You’re entitled to do what you love. The mere fact that you were born gives you the entitlement. You have a purpose. A noble purpose. You came to do something that only you can do, and it’s your birthright to do it. You don’t owe anyone an apology or an explanation. It’s your life’s work.
Let me ask you, if you could do anything in the world, no holds barred, what would that be? Take a moment to go inside and think about it. I would offer that the thing you’d do for free, even if nobody paid you, that’s the thing you should be doing. That’s what lights you up. That’s your passion. Your love. That, my dear, is your work in the world. And I’ll let you in on a little secret. It doesn’t matter what it is.
A long time ago, I was standing on a bridge in Switzerland surveying a beautiful town spread out before me, and an old man was sweeping the street with one of those long brooms that witches fly on. It was the early 70’s. Now the Swiss vacuum the streets. As I stood there, he slowly approached me as he worked, and as he came closer I could hear that he was singing to himself. He was quite old, at an age when most people would be home sitting in a rocking chair, but here he was, outside on a beautiful day, in a beautiful town, singing and smiling and working away. He was an old street sweeper, and he was happy. There was a big lesson in that moment for me. I realized that it doesn’t matter what you do. It only matters that you love what you do.
When you’re young, you think success means making a lot of money. But success isn’t actually measured by how much money you make or how many things you accumulate. People who assist the dying say that the number one regret of people on their deathbed is that they didn’t spend more time with the people they love. Turns out it was loving relationship that they valued the most. Set up your life so that you’re in loving relationship. Love what you do. Love the people you work with. Love where you live. Love your home. Love your friends. Love the whole thing. Then you’ll be happy, and after all, isn’t that what we came here for?
Why are you here? What is your purpose? What did you come here to do? Think about this long and hard, and then in the words of Mary Oliver, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
Amor fati. Love what is. Everything is beautiful, but not everyone sees the beauty. Our work is to refine our vision so that we can see the Truth - the perfection in life as it is. Sometimes our greatest lessons come from our hardest experiences. Every moment is an opportunity to learn and to love.