Why to “just” find what you love to do just can be totally misleading
And why you should start to simply love what you do or even what you don’t like to do so far
There seems to be a leading concept, trying to sell the idea of the search for what you love to do. This quest in life, where you will feel just fulfilled as soon as you finally found your purpose! The love of your life. The one thing you could simply do every single day. And your life will be fine. It is that simple.
I was addicted to this in my 20ies, too. I thought when I just finally have found, and reached this, and that, and this … it became an addiction more than fulfillment. It ended up in a confusion mode of constantly thinking about how to optimise, how to do more of what I love to do. It didn’t feel fulfilled at all honestly, even though I did a lot of what I love to do. It felt restless. It felt like I had to protect whatever I had conquered with this approach. In the moment, where I had reached what I wanted, I simply felt unhappy nevertheless. What happened?
It took me years and a lot of readings about philosophy to understand, that I fell into the trap of the happiness-ideology and passion as the only purpose in life. I forgot about the rest. Completely. It also took some pretty hard life accidents to get more realistic about things.
What are the risks in this concept?
- What no one is talking about: Passion can become an addiction. And addiction means, you need more and more and more… There will never be a 100%. It is endless, it is the feeling of never “coming home”, just searching for the next kick. Your nerv system will get used to and you will forget about the little things which can bring yoy to your heart. Addiction means also you are a slave. You aren’t free. Your mind will constantly run. Your thoughts become a cage.
- Missing the joy of presence. Overly high set expectations can destroy every gift, every achievement, every presentation. You are simply mentally not there since you are already on the hunt for the next big thing. Only presence can celebrate achievements.
- The wisdom of acceptance is one condition for long-lasting happiness. We can change a ton in our live, we can reinvent ourselves. But there are things, which are important in live, even we don’t like them. Having things in place and keeping your administration clear, making sure you do savings, being aware of that in your job documentation is necessary, … these are all things you should start to accept instead of postponing things or avoiding things on the hunt for pleasure. Some things in life are important — if you like them or not! Get it done. Otherwise they will make you fall.
- Behind the “I rather love to do this” very often there is another hidden motivation behind, which just does not want to show up: Sometimes you might think you love doing something else more and focus on it simply because you procastinate out of the fear of being imperfect, not having the skills for doing what is actually important now. Your mind is good in hiding blind spots. Itneeds practice in introspection to unveil them: Do I really love doing the opposite from what I should do or is this simply a strategy of my subconscious mind to not face a fear and get things done?
- Under stress, everything becomes a burden. You will hate everything at some point. This becomes a warning signal. The problem is doing too much, no matter if you love it or not.
What happens if we turn this sentence around? Love what you do. Maybe some questions might come up now: Who does love tax declarations? Who does love repeating tasks? Wo does love cleaning the dishes? Remember: Life is short. You want to spend your time with as much positive thoughts and vibes you can. So instead of running after things and coming home into a messy kitchen, apologizing to yourself by “I have to do something better and have to find XYZ out there”, why not confessing, that you love coming home into a clear apartment, too? When I started my mediation practice some years ago, I realized several things: I became happier, by doing nothing else in my job. I enjoyed my daily routines more. I even started to love excel sheets at some point. I found a good reason in doing things again, that previously I thought I got enough of it. Without being on a constant hunt.
So this is why I would like to encourage you to rethink the religion of find something you really love to do. You could simply ask, how can you practice your mind to be more happy, less negative and more in presence and see how things change from there first.
Well if you have made really a bad choice in your career and learn more about your strength later (this is btw what happened to me in sales in my early career days) you should do something against it. But if you never feel fullfilled and happy, if you avoid doing what makes your life or job better, if you are constantly optimizing your choices without enjoying them, something else is off. And if you are still waisting your time with complaing about the dishes, well, start finally to love what you do. Everything can be meditation practice. The things which look most underqualified to you, can teach you the most about connecting to presence and feel grounded in your daily life.