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Do what you love, love what you do
Learning how to do what you love is key to fulfillment in life
You’ve heard the old saying, “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” In many ways, this saying is true. If you’re passionate about what you do and you’re putting your focus and energy into it, you won’t feel like you’re working. Yet many people use this ideology as an excuse. Why put time and effort into something if you don’t love it?
The truth is, if you love what you do for a living, you probably started out by taking small steps to reach that goal. Most people don’t enter their careers and immediately have a passion for business. What is the IT factor these people have in common? Purpose. If you use your own sense of purpose to inform your professional decisions and progress, you will end up teaching yourself how to do what you love.
To really be true to your purpose as it relates to your life’s work, which is key to building a career in which you truly love what you do, then you need to ask yourself, “What is my inner potential, and what are my deepest talents?” By exploring questions that push you to discover your identity, values and what you care about the most, you’ll find your truth: that you must first understand what your true gift is in order to find fulfillment in your career.
As Tony Robbins says, “Change is automatic, but progress is not. If you want to make progress, you need a plan, a strategy and ongoing habits to get the results you want.” We’ll break down these components and discuss how they’re necessary if you want to do what you love and love what you do.
Learning how to do what you love
If you’re overwhelmed by the prospect of making drastic changes to do what you love for a living, take baby steps. Getting to know yourself is the first step in learning to love what you do. Here are some ways to get in touch with what inspires you.
1. Focus on your strengths
Before you can learn how to do what you love, you must know what it is that you love to do! This is a process of self-discovery that puts you in touch with your core values, strengths and assets. In his Building the Ultimate Business Advantage course, marketing expert Jay Abraham states that many entrepreneurs are unhappy because they are constantly trying to improve their weaknesses. Jay advocates focusing on your strengths when deciding what type of business to start and putting a growth strategy in place. When you identify what you enjoy doing and the activities you’re able to master relatively quickly, you’ll achieve more meaningful successes that lead to fulfillment.
Creating a career where you do what you love for a living is about spending the majority of your time practicing and acting on your strengths. This isn’t just a recipe for increasing your passion for business, either – when potential customers see how passionate you are, they’re more likely to catch on, which dramatically increases your probability of business success.
2. Find your passions
The next step in developing a career in which you love what you do is in thinking clearly about your purpose. What empowers you? What do you wish you could wake up and do every day? These answers must fall in line with what your strengths are. For some people, the ability to do what you love means helping others. For a different person, it’s expressing their thoughts and feelings creatively. Others value travel or spending time with their family. Once you’ve really thought about what living an extraordinary life looks like for you, consider how you’ll achieve it.
3. Talk to a career counselor
Working with a career counselor is an excellent way to fine-tune your career path. Career counselors are trained to guide clients in the best possible direction toward self-actualization. A skilled career counselor evaluates your skills, background, inspirations and personality traits to help customize a course of action to do what you love.
4. Build your network
When you’re in the process of transforming your career to do what you love, this is the time to make connections and expand your network. When you reach out to others – especially people you respect who’ve found answers to how to do what you love – you tap into a resource of support, information and inspiration. Then, when you go to implement your strategy for career fulfillment, your network will be ready and waiting.
5. Save money
As you work to build a career that lets you do what you love, be strategic about your finances so your resources are focused on the prize. Prioritize your spending on activities that support your passions. You’ll increase your sense of self-efficacy while retaining resources to achieve your dreams.
Implementing a strategy to love what you do
You’ve already put in the leg work necessary to do what you love. Your next step is creating a strategy for getting there. This is your action plan for learning how to do what you love and love what you do.
1. To love what you do, strategize wisely
Unless you’re born into money, you’re going to have to work to be able to do what you love. Start with a plan – or better yet, a Massive Action Plan. How can you achieve your true purpose through work? How can you combine that interest with a real-world career? Plan how you can make your vision a reality.
You’re never going to go from point A, as a total beginner, to point Z, in which you miraculously get to do what you love and have achieved complete financial freedom. You have to strategize wisely to go from point A to point B to point C, and so on. How can you most efficiently build a career in which you love what you do? There are a few steps you can take to expedite this process:
Find a mentor:
Whether it’s someone you know in real life who has achieved massive success or someone you haven’t met in person but greatly admire, find out how they found success. Ask them what steps they took to discover how to do what they love, then ask yourself how you can model the path they took with adjustments to meet your own specific circumstances. Almost every successful business person – including Tony – has been coached by mentors throughout their careers.
Work with a coach:
If you don’t have the expertise to do what you love and build a business around it on your own, don’t worry: There is plenty of help available. Work with a Results Coach who can help you focus on your end goal and assist you in developing a strategic plan to reach it.
When you’re working toward your goal of having a career where you do what you love, you will encounter setbacks and failure – that’s inevitable. The key is to turn those setbacks into successes by focusing on constant and strategic innovation. How can you refine your approach? How can you change what you’re doing to more swiftly meet your goal?
If you’re not sure what strategy to employ, consider employing all three: committing to innovation in your professional life with the help of a coach or mentor. Research shows that this combination of commitment and mentorship is one of the most effective ways to build a career in which you do what you love. Thirty years of research on the topic assessed 43 studies comparing career outcomes of people who either engaged mentors or didn’t in their pursuit of career innovation. Those who engaged mentors received higher compensation, more promotions, felt more satisfied with (and committed to) their careers and felt more likely to enjoy future career advancement. Another survey of 170 professionals found that those who engaged mentors were significantly more likely to appreciate their place of employment and its leadership. Engaging a mentor also impacted employee retention rates and employees’ sense of inclusion in the workplace, both of which come into play in terms of career fulfilment.
2. Develop positive habits
It may take a while for you to do what you love at work and earn a living at it, so you need to make sure you’re developing sustainable habits during the process. This includes professional habits, like becoming a great networker and regularly attending seminars to better your skills, and personal ones, like ensuring you’re taking enough time off to do what you love outside of work, like listening to entertaining podcasts and spending time with your kids. When practiced regularly over time, these habits will sustain you even when things get tough. As your professional journey progresses, you can always fall back on these learned and cultivated skills.
Developing positive habits will also help you create a harmonious work-life balance, which will in turn enhance your feelings of contentment once you are in a career in which you love what you do. How does harmonizing your personal and professional lives enhance your career? Research demonstrates that it is work-life balance, not money, autonomy or even recognition, which ultimately drives career success. Specifically, a survey of 4,100 business executives from medium-to-large firms in 33 countries revealed that, when employees are able to balance their professional and personal lives, they engage far more readily with the tasks at hand (and the team with which they collaborate) than employees who are overworked. This sense of work-life balance results not only in fewer departures from a given company but also in employees feeling like they “have it all” in terms of holistic life fulfillment. Take their cue and work to harmonize your work life with your personal life.
3. Increase your passion for business by falling in love with your clients
No matter how much passion for business you develop, there will still be tasks you don’t fully enjoy and days when you question your business model. What keeps you going during times like these and helps you continue to love what you do? Jay suggests that building a career where you do what you love is a matter of falling in love with your clients. When you take the focus off your products and services and put it on how your business affects the lives of those you serve, you can love what you do even during the most mundane tasks. Jay states you need to lose the drive to make your company the “biggest” or “most popular” and instead be passionate about the impact you have on your clients’ lives. Make each contact you have with customers a chance to learn more about their values, hopes and dreams and become their trusted advisor for how to get what they want. When you realize your customer’s life is your business life, you understand that falling in love with them ignites your passion for business.
Being able to do what you love for a living is possible, but it takes time. Decide today to start working toward your goals, and realize that there are many steps along the way between where you begin and where you want to be. Most importantly, cultivate habits that fill your life with joy as you travel down the path to success.
4. Give yourself credit for wanting to do what you love
Making change takes courage, and that’s exactly what you’re doing when you take strides to do what you love. Instead of taking the easy way out and settling for the status quo, you’ve taken the high road to build a life that inspires you.
5. Appreciate your mistakes
Learning how to do what you love is a process. Resist the temptation to look at your current career as a failure or mistake. Instead, look at it as a source of information – on what you don’t want to be doing for a living, the strengths you developed in the course of your job(s) and the network you’ve built. When you’re able to learn from your mistakes without beating yourself up over them (or throwing in the towel), every step you take is a step toward a life where you love what you do.
You deserve to have a fulfilling career that allows you to do what you love for a living. Unearth your inner potential and deepest talents with our Business Identity quiz. Discover and utilize your gift to find your ultimate calling in life.