Doing what you love is the best thing in the world. In this age of massive connection, new jobs are always being produced and people are being hired in new positions all the time. Thus, twenty first century is an era of unprecedented opportunity. If you want to do what you love, you can choose right now.
There’s other side as well. Many self-help gurus are speaking about following your passion and doing things in your own way; but rarely have they given any blueprint for what you should do if you want to do what you love.
Treat this article as a bridge from what you are doing to what you love doing. After reading this article, if you apply these steps you would most certainly will be able to take the first step of doing what you love.
In this article, first of all we will talk about the reality check first. Then we will talk about how you can make the transition from loving what you love to do to doing what you love doing. Then we will talk about an action strategy to get you started.
If you’re ready, let’s get started.
A reality check
This is important in the beginning. Most people talk about following your passion. And the people who are doing what they love often don’t tell you the truth. They want to keep a happy face and don’t want to disclose things they’re experiencing while following the path of passion and love.
Here it is.
There are many pieces in a job. Let’s imagine that you’re in a job that you love. You need to do a lot of chores daily. You need to take care of a lot of stuff. Now look closely. What do you like about your job that you say that you do what you love? Are you talking about everything you do? Most probably no! You’re talking about few things that you like to do. And you don’t like to do the rest. As you believe that you do like few things/tasks in your job and you imagine that you cannot like other things better, you decide that you do what you love.
For giving you an explanation, let’s take two examples.
- First, let’s talk about a teacher. Imagine that when we talk to the teacher, he says that he loves his job. When we ask why he loves his job he says – “I love teaching. It’s a great feeling seeing students getting big, getting empowered and feeling bigger than they are right now.” Now of course, he is doing what he loves. But here’s the catch. If we ask him what are the other things he needs to do other than teaching students, he says – he needs to correct the papers, he needs to take care of some administrative stuffs and he also needs to attend meetings. If you pay heed you would see that when he said he loves his job he didn’t mention all the other stuffs he is doing along with teaching. He loves his job, because he loves teaching.
- Second, let’s talk about a banker. She says that she loves her job. We ask her why she loves her job. She mentions that it’s a noble profession. She gets to serve the customers all the time and she feels special when customers keep coming back to her and praises her services. Now we ask the similar question to her. We ask her – “What do you do other than what you love?” She says – “I need to take care of the cash; I need to count the notes to check whether the amount deposited in the bank per day basis is proper; I also need to take to maintain the accounts when the accountant is absent and I also have to go to attend meetings to improve the customer service of the bank. Now, she does a lot of things. But while she mentions what she loves doing she only says she loves serving customers, not everything.
When you think what you love, don’t just think that you only get to do what you love in the beginning. Because in the beginning, as you start out, you need to do a lot of other things that you may not like. If you like to be a writer, you can’t only write. You need to knock doors of editors, you need to keep marketing your services, you need to take care of your websites and you also need to negotiate your rates on certain occasions.
So always keep in mind that doing what you love comes with a lot of price to pay. You only won’t do what you absolutely love doing. But you will also need to do some chores that you may not like.
The best way to deal with this is not to follow the advice of following your passion. You may like to do something, that’s okay. But you need to build mental muscles to do things you absolutely hate in order to do what you love. If you are ready to pay the price, let’s talk about how to do what you love doing.
How to do what you love doing
The best advice is often precise. We will talk about what exactly you need to do to transition yourself from not doing to doing what you love.
Know what you love doing
How would you know what you love doing? There’s simple formula. You need to find a theme that you’re already following. There are certain things that attract you. The people who are writers, before they know they want to become writers, they love books, the smell, the libraries, the book shops, people talking about books and so on and so forth. For bankers, before they have become bankers, they loved cash, talking to people, taking care of themselves, mastering soft skills and reading books about finance. From the above examples, you may think that we’re suggesting everyone who has become something has found a theme beforehand. No. Many didn’t. But if they didn’t that means they’re still doing things they’re not born to do.
Your job is to make a list of things you love. Make a list. Doesn’t matter how long! Write down 10, 20, 30. Now find that whether there is common thread between all the items. If you can find that common thread excellent. Otherwise keep digging. For some this exercise takes few hours and for some few days, even months. Don’t go to the next step until you find out the theme of your life.
Make an action plan
If you have found what you love, one or more, congratulations! Now you’re ready to do what you love. But before that you need an action plan.
At this stage, the first emotion is an overwhelming feeling. You are happy and at the same time you don’t have slightest idea how you would do what you love. Making an action plan at this stage is difficult, we know.
But it’s mandatory.
If you want to be a painter or a speaker, find out what the professional painters and speakers do. Then emulate them. Ask yourself – “What would be the first step I can take to start doing what I love?” The first step can often be as simple as buying the things you need to practice. For example, if you want to be a painter, you can buy art papers, painting colours, pencils, eraser, rubber, brushes and palate.
As you have a vague idea about what to do, write a vague plan if you can’t make a concrete plan for your future. A vague plan about what you love doing is better than no plan at all. Just write things that come to your mind and then let the rest go.
This is the best advice you can ever get if you want to do what you love. Many people don’t start. The author Steven Pressfield calls it “resistance”. People when they’re on the verge of making a shift, they often experience tremendous fear. It’s a good sign. If you fear, it means that you’re pursuing the right thing. If not, you may give it a thought.
To start, you need to work on the resistances.
First you need to take care of the physical resistances. Suppose you want to be a speaker and your environment is always filled with things that you don’t have a place to practice. Take care of the things that are hindering you from starting. Clear out the clutter. Or find some place where you can find a corner and practice speaking.
Second, when you’re done arranging things and deciding the right space for you to start, mental resistance will creep in and put you on your knees. The best advice is to do it in spite of your fear. Yes, you will be scared. That’s natural. But do it anyway. Soon enough, as you practice more, the voice inside your head will get minimal.
Thus decide what you would do and just start. Once you start don’t stop. In the next section, we will talk about a strategy which will help you become a pro at doing what you love.
Action strategy to get started as a pro
No, you will not become a pro overnight. But if you use this strategy you will eventually become a pro and would be able to do what you love doing full time.
Here’s the strategy – start a part time venture in doing what you love.
No. You don’t need to do it right now. But it should be your first goal if you have just started doing what you love.
If you feel too overwhelmed, give yourself a deadline, maybe a month or two to decide when you would go out and search for clients/ freelance work/ part time jobs. No matter what you love doing, you need to ask yourself two simple questions before you can do it part time.
- Is what you love doing scalable?
- Is what you love doing is being done by other people whom you know?
If answer to both of these questions is ‘yes’, you can go ahead and taste the water! If one of the answers is ‘no’, go ahead and do your search about the same. If you believe what you love doing isn’t scalable, is there anyway which you can discover to make it scalable? If you don’t find anyone you know who do what you love doing, search in the net. There can be someone you may not know, but you can eventually know once you begin your search.
Part time gig is important for you to see that whether what you love doing is a reality or just an illusion. Maybe what you love doing can be pursued as a hobby and not as a job or a profession.
You would agree that all the skills don’t pay well. We get paid by the value we bring into the market place and not all skills are able to generate such kinds of value. If you can tweak and create something that will earn you a living, good enough; but you need to realize that everything you love doesn’t need to be your profession! You can still do them and enjoy instead of trying to make it scalable.
Find out whether what you love doing can be a great skill which creates greater value in the market place. If not, practice it as a hobby.
Doing what you love is a blessing. If you find it, it would also be a boon for you. But never think that once you find what you love, you don’t need to work a day. It’s a misconception. Rather once you find what you love, you need to work much harder than you ever do in your current job. It’s not easy to do what you love. But in this era of technology and opportunity, there’s no reason why you can’t find and do what you love. Just start searching. Maybe what you love doing is waiting for you to find it as author Mark Victor Hansen says – “What you want wants you!”