Work Life Balance: Why You Should Love What You Do
The average American will spend 8.8 hours at work each day. If you multiply that number by the average working days in a year (about 250) and a 40-year career, you'll discover you will spend just over 10 years of your life at the office. Someone somewhere came up with the idea of "work-life balance". I know what they mean, but I'm calling bullshit. You don't stop living when you're at work. Maybe if you're Spock and can separate the two completely without emotion but for me, it's not an option.
The difference between work and a job
My first job was painting houses. The job following that was with a contractor. I didn't like these jobs but the work was something I could appreciate. I learned to use ladders, paint without making a mess, build a deck--practical stuff. The jobs were physically demanding, often very hot, filled with chemicals and garbage. You don't always have control over the job, but you can decide how you feel about the work.
We all work for ourselves
You might think if you work for a company or school that you work for "the man". Wrong. At the end of the day, the boss might make more money than you, but you're cashing your check for yourself and your family.
Work is work
If someone payed me to watch YouTube videos all day, I'm sure eventually I'd get tired of it. Work is called "work" for a reason. Phrases like "do what you love" get brushed aside because people read that and think, yeah right. The way I interpret this message is simple. I don't have two lives, one for work, and one for family and fun. If I tried to do that I'd fail. I'd rather just live one life.
Jobs will change, the people you work with may change, life itself is change. The variable you can control is your work philosophy. Do you give a damn about what you do? What's that thing you're so passionate about that if it were to interfere with your personal life (gasp) you wouldn't mind. That's what I mean when I think of "doing what you love".
Life is fragile and relatively short. There are trees that are ten times older than I'll ever live. It's a bit like a relay race. All the people before me have run their legs and have passed off the baton. Now it's my turn to run my life and hopefully I'll give the next guy a head start.
It's not about money
I believe that money is energy and that where you invest your time and energy is how you will make the most money. You can spend 10% of your life making money doing something you don't enjoy or you can try making a living doing something that makes you smile. Worst case scenario you're broke and happy. That sounds awful and I don't mean for you to take what I'm writing word-for-word, I actually suspect you'll earn more working on something you enjoy. Why? Because your work will be higher quality, you will give a damn, and people are willing to pay for people who give a damn about what they do.