Do What You Love

The following is an extract from “Do What You Love”, A piece that I wrote for The New Betty, a magazine in California.


What do you do?

The problem with this question: our career has come to define us.

A more interesting question would be What do you love?

Our lives could be so much richer if we devoted more of our time to what we love.

The average person spends 80,000 hours of their life consumed by work. The key to thriving could be a simple alchemy: mixing what we do with what we love.

Here’s how to go about it.

Step 1: Find What You Love.

 Ancient Greek wisdom holds that you should Know Thyself. Notice what makes you giddy and what gives your days meaning. Be mindful of your energy – what sustains and what drains you.

The key here is to figure out what makes you happy. It is so much harder than it sounds.

Step 2: Gather Support

As a child, perhaps you dreamed of running away to join the circus.

The rat race keeps us all running, but towards what? Running away to the circus could mean escaping the norm to do what you love.

The key is to find your own circus – a freak show of sorts.

They say that you are the average of the five people that you spend the most time with. Surround yourself with a group of people who are brave enough to swap success for happiness.

Step 3: Go Online

Whatever it is that you love, there is a good chance that you will find an avenue for it online.

You can find creative freelance jobs, from illustration to journalism.  Travel as you work – check out flexjobs. Become a designer or artist, with your own business on etsy.  You could even crowd fund a unique idea on Kick Starter.

Step 4: Manage Expectations

In all likeliness, you will not earn as much money as you are used to. This is fine, so long as you have a mindset that meaning is the new money.

Silicon Valley has a trendy mythology: Fail Fast, Fail Often, Fail Better.

You are creating your own path, so a misstep is inevitable.

Resilience is everything: Fail Forward.

Step 5: Hustle

Dreams don’t work unless you do.

A common misconception is that your dream job should be easy. Chances are, you will work for it. Hard.

The thing to remember: the hard work should feel worthwhile.

Next time, when someone asks’s you what do you do?, I hope that your eyes light up; You are creating a life where you don’t just float, you flourish.

You can find the full article here.

For my own experiment in dream jobs, see How to Run Away and Join the Circus

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