“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.” – Steve Jobs
Ahh, Steve Jobs. He always has the best quotes about life and success and following your dreams. Are you doing work you’re passionate about?
How to Do Work You’re Passionate About
And he’s totally right with the quote above. Work does take up a lot of your day and a lot of your life, so if you’re stuck in a job you hate or a life you hate, then it’s easy to see why you would be unhappy.
Although some people DO want to have a stable job and then they do what they really want after work or on the weekends, I’m of the opinion that you shouldn’t try to stuff your dreams into the cracks and crevices of an already busy life (I think Kat Loterzo said that).
Fill your life first with what you’re passionate about, or eventually you won’t have time for it at all. And really, why would you want to spend 50 years of your life doing something you don’t even like for eight hours a day?
I’m not going to wait until I retire to start living the life I want. I’m already living the life I want and doing what I love, and I’m happier because of it.
Figure out what you’re passionate about as early as you can, and start doing that thing in any way you can. Even if you just take a few small steps while you’re in your current job, it’s still progress forward. Make the phone call. Fill out an application. Start a blog. Write an outline for the book. Set a date on the calendar. Learn about and start doing whatever you can, where you are right now in life.
- 24 Quotes About Success and Following Your Dreams
- Realizing Your Goals and Dreams
- The Short But Powerful Guide to Finding Your Passion
- 15 Quotes About Finding Your Purpose in Life
On Writing and Startups
I love startups. I love entrepreneurship. I grew up watching my dad work from home as my first self-employed role model. Business is in my blood. At times the depression seemed to take all the joy out of this, even going so far as to lead me to believe that my efforts were a waste of time, that I was a failure and was never going to succeed, and that I had nothing to contribute to this world. But there was always a small voice inside of me that said, “This is what you love. No amount of depression can take that away from you. This is your passion – keep going.”
So when my mind had twisted my thinking into depressed knots and hopeless blank stares, I took the one tiny ember of hope left inside of me and prayed that something would come of it. I knew, deep inside, that more than anything, I still wanted to change the world. I still had a childlike sense of wonder in my eyes and an insatiable curiosity that couldn’t be extinguished. I wanted to know what would come of my life, if anything, and I wanted to see if I could in fact change the world.
My curiosity kept me going. I wanted to tell my story, because I knew I wasn’t alone, but I also knew that people weren’t talking about any of this.
So no matter how bad I felt or how much I wanted to crawl back into bed, I forced myself to write. Anne Lamott’s classic “Shitty First Drafts” does not even begin to describe how grossly malformed my forced attempts at writing were (and probably the piece you’re reading now, too ;)). The first few days of this lead to some very depressing pieces and finding myself even more hopeless than before, now spurned on by writing that “justified” my feeling awful.
But after a while, my writing started to take on a new form. It was soft like rain hitting the pavement, and open and raw and in a way, healing. And writing something about the thoughts I struggled to put into words was something that got me out of bed in the morning. And that was enough.
Don’t wait for the stars to align and a voice from the heavens to come down and give you permission to follow your dreams. If you’re waiting for a sign, this is it. You have permission.
Yes, you can be happy in any circumstances given the right attitude. But deep down if you’re not living the life you want, then it’s always going to be a struggle.
It’s not easy to follow your dreams, but it sure makes everything else in your life a lot easier. Happiness included.
Go for your dreams.
If you’d like more tips about how to figure out your life, check out our class Figure Out Your Life.