Do what you love? Or do what most needs doing?

work,passion,career,art,writing

A 2012 share titled “Do What You Love” garnered more likes (393) and more views (8,396) than any other post on this blog. My thinking has evolved (you were naive!) since that time with a subsequent share titled: Do What You Love? Wrong! and this NY Times article by Professor Gordon Marino titled Life Beyond ‘Do What You Love’:

…But is “do what you love” wisdom or malarkey?

…the “do what you love” ethos so ubiquitous in our culture is in fact elitist because it degrades work that is not done from love. It also ignores the idea that work itself possesses an inherent value, and most importantly, severs the traditional connection between work, talent and duty.

…My father didn’t do what he loved. He labored at a job he detested so that he could send his children to college. Was he just unenlightened and mistaken to put the well-being of others above his own personal interests? It might be argued that his idea of self-fulfillment was taking care of his family, but again, like so many other less than fortunate ones, he hated his work but gritted his teeth and did it well.

…Our desires should not be the ultimate arbiters of vocation. Sometimes we should do what we hate, or what most needs doing, and do it as best we can.

Read full article: Life Beyond ‘Do What You Love’


Image Source: daiquiri-kisses (modified)

The Path: Step A. To B. To C. To?

black and white

“…Do well at Step A and you can proceed to Step B. Do well at B, and proceed to C. As I look back at my life so far, I realize that I was playing by a very narrow set of rules. And if I played by those rules, worked hard, and caught a lucky break or two, I’d be rewarded with plenty of wealth and prestige.

And that worked okay…for a while…until I began to have nagging doubts. “The Path” began to feel just a bit too narrow. I felt that I was always trying to do well in life in order to move to the next step. As a result, I had completely lost the ability to live in the moment or to appreciate success for success’ sake. And failure? Well, that wasn’t even an option. Most insidiously, I began looking at the people in my life only as potential allies (or, gasp, even pawns) in my quest to keep plugging along down The Path…”

~ Steve Roesler, Life Choices. Bitter or Better?


Credits: Stairway by Bobus @ Elinka.  Quote Source: allthingsworkplace.com


“A” vs. “B” vs. “C”

Indexed,chart,free time,work,passion,writer,artist,


Two questions: Which one of the four below are you? (Assuming you are one of the four.)  Which one is optimal?

  1. “A” > “B” = No “C”
  2. “A” < “B” = No “C”
  3. “A” + “B” = Some “C”
  4. “P” =  “J” = No “C”

Where ‘A’= Time Spent On What You Love to Do.
Where ‘B’= Time Spent on Your Job.
Where ‘C’= Amount of Your Free Time.
Where ‘P’= What You Love To Do.
Where  ‘J’ = Your Job.


Chart Source: Great Work Done From 5 to 9Indexed by Jessica Hagy

The spirit moves me every day

William Faulkner

“During his most fertile years, from the late 1920s through the early ’40s, Faulkner worked at an astonishing pace, often completing three thousand words a day and occasionally twice that amount. (He once wrote to his mother that he had managed ten thousand words in one day, working between 10: 00 A.M. and midnight— a personal record.) ‘I write when the spirit moves me,’ Faulkner said, ‘and the spirit moves me every day.'”

~ Mason Currey on William Faulkner’s work ethic


William Cuthbert Faulkner (1897 – 1962), was an American writer and Nobel Prize laureate from Oxford, Mississippi.  Though his work was published as early as 1919, and largely during the 1920s and 1930s, Faulkner was relatively unknown until receiving the 1949 Nobel Prize in Literature. Two of his works, A Fable (1954) and his last novel The Reivers (1962), won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. In 1998, the Modern Library ranked his 1929 novel The Sound and the Fury sixth on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century; also on the list were As I Lay Dying (1930) and Light in August (1932).

As a schoolchild, Faulkner had much success early on. He excelled in the first grade, skipped the second, and continued doing well through the third and fourth grades. However, beginning somewhere in the fourth and fifth grades of his schooling, Faulkner became a much more quiet and withdrawn child. He began to play hooky occasionally and became somewhat indifferent to his schoolwork, even though he began to study the history of Mississippi on his own time in the seventh grade. The decline of his performance in school continued and Faulkner wound up repeating the eleventh, and then final grade, and never graduating from high school. (Source: Wiki)


Image Credit: Popmatters.com.  Quote Source:  Mason Currey from Daily Rituals: How Artists Work via bakadesuyo.com.  Bio: Wiki

Be grateful. Be VERY grateful for your current job.

13 of the Worst Jobs in the World


Source: Lapham’s Quarterly

Related Post: Best Jobs in America

Sleep. China. Leisure. Marx. Judging.

senior woman in black and white

Potpourri of articles that have lingered with me…and have fired up the thinking gene:

1) Extend our conscious life span by 150%.  The End of Sleep. (Aeon Magazine)
(DK: I need to get some of this “medicine.” Or, maybe not.)

2) Not Doing Better Than Our Parents. And Loving It. (The Umlaut.com)
(DK: Just what my kids need to read.  I can hear it already.  “See Dad. You have it all backwards.”)

3) Choking on China.  The Superpower That is Poisoning the World. (Foreign Affairs)
(DK: I’m not Mr. Green.  But, this.  This is frightening.)

4) A Man of His Times (Karl Marx). (NY Times)
(DK: Hard left. Hard Right. We’re all human. )
“He is an intensely loving father, playing energetically with his children and later grandchildren, but also suffering what would now be diagnosed as a two-year depression following the death of his 8-year-old son Edgar.”)

5) Change Your Thoughts About People For a Better Life. (Steve Aitchison)
(DK: I set a modest goal after reading this post.  No judging for 1 day.  Outcome: Fail. I’m workin’ it. First step in recovery is recognizing…you know the line…I’m on step 2.)

6) The Happiest People Pursue the Most Difficult Problems. (Rosabeth Moss Kanter @ HBR Blog Network)
(DK: “It is hard to feel alone, or to whine about small things, when faced with really big matters..” YES.  Period.)


Image Source: GagaBoss Studio

Do what you love. Wrong!

skills-cal-newport


When I read the title of this book, my head snapped back.  I believe that “doing what you love” (or pursuing your passion) leads to you being effective and satisfied in your job and leading a satisfying life.  Newport suggests that “following your passion is terrible advice” and that “skills trump passion in the quest for work you love.” I’ve bought the book and I’m starting to dig in.

Amazon’s book summary states that “Newport debunks the long-held belief that “follow your passion” is good advice. Not only is the cliché flawed-preexisting passions are rare and have little to do with how most people end up loving their work-but it can also be dangerous, leading to anxiety and chronic job hopping…Matching your job to a preexisting passion does not matter, he reveals. Passion comes after you put in the hard work to become excellent at something valuable, not before. In other words, what you do for a living is much less important than how you do it.”

There is a worthy start-of-the-week message in the excerpts from 800ceoread’s book review:

[Read more…]

Mission for today…

try harder

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


“The answer will only arrive after we stop looking for it,” says bestselling author Jonah Lehrer. Examining recent research into what drives creative insights, Lehrer breaks down how and why we have “aha!” moments, using examples that range from Bob Dylan writing “Like A Rolling Stone” to a Tibetan monk’s zen puzzle-solving powers. But insight isn’t everything. Those who achieve great things in the long-term also have another important quality: Grit, a single-minded persistence that helps them keep their eye on the prize and pushing ever-forward even when the “aha!” moments aren’t around.

~ The99percent.com


Image Source: abirdeyeview via graff14

Related Posts:

Worried about your job? Hope is not a strategy…

Klaas Verplancke, ParapluieHBR Blog Network: “…It would take something like 1,000 hours — and maybe a lot longer — to recover from a forced career change…

…If disaster were to hit, you’d like to believe that you could find another job. Well, as the cliché goes, hope is not a strategy. Especially in this job market.

…It certainly seems we are running harder and harder to keep up with the required knowledge in our specialized fields. What would you actually have to invest in order to stay in this race? In this race, information is the tiger and there doesn’t seem to be an end to how fast the tiger can run. But remember, the good news is that you don’t have to outrun the tiger. You simply have to outrun your competitors, people like you who are going to be looking for a job, once their industry becomes obsolete…”

[Read more…]

Feeling Blah about work?

job rainI received some backchannel email blow-back on my last post (10 Most Loved Jobs. And 10 Most Hated) and the related posts on Doing What You Love.  (Whispering to me: Here you go again.  Not everyone is in the situation YOU are in.  Try to walk in someone else’s shoes for a change.  Tired of you preaching about Doing. What. You. Love.  Some of us can’t walk away to a lesser paying job to Do.What.We.Love.  We need to pay the bills.  We can’t relo away from aging parents, family, friends.  We can’t walk away from our house and the mortgage. We need to keep the Don’t-Love-My-Job we have.) 

OK.  I get it.  Yet so many are unhappy.  Feel stuck.  Are unfulfilled. Or are frustrated in their current station. The three articles below share some excellent advice on how to make the most of the current job you are in.  My Cliff-Notes recap is summarized here:

  • Do. (Continue) to do an excellent job.
  • Connect. (Develop deeper relationships with people you work with)
  • Learn. (Learn & apply new skills and knowledge which will fuel higher levels of engagement)
  • Contribute. (Achievement and contribution gives us a higher sense of purpose.)
  • Don’t Complain.  (…And drag down your colleagues and pollute your brand.)

There’s no justification for an employee to wait expectantly for the organization to furnish engagement, as if it’s something somebody can give you. The key to sustainable high engagement is taking primary responsibility for it. Now is the time to own your own engagement. (FastCompany)

Here’s the 3 self-help articles on the topic…

[Read more…]

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