If you find what you love, everything else will take care of itself. The money will come and you won’t even feel like your job is a job. Man, that sounds awesome, sign me up!! In fact, I love to spend my time taking adventures with my wife and hanging out with my family so I better start doing more of it, right?
The “find what you love” mantra is the one I’ve been working towards for the last ten years, and I’m starting to figure out that for most of us, that’s just plain bull feces. In fact, I’ll go as far as to say that thought is one of the biggest problems perpetuating the unhappiness of most of Americans. We keep hearing that if we find what we love, all of our problems will be solved. Instead, it sends us on a journey to constantly search for other things when we might already have exactly what we want and need.
The mathematician Jacobi’s solution to answering hard problems was to “Invert, always invert”. So what do we do when we can’t figure something out? Flip it on its head! Instead of finding what we love, what would happen if we love what we find?
Some people journey across the world in search of what they love and in the end, they realize they already have it. That’s right, you may already have the thing you want most in the world right in front of you! Open your eyes… there it is! Ok, maybe not but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.
What would happen if you started to focus on loving the job you currently hate? Zig Ziglar used to tell people to write down a list of what they appreciate about their jobs and read it every day. You can thank your job for a paycheck, a sense of security (maybe), growth opportunities, paid vacation, etc. Oftentimes we focus on what we hate so much that we don’t realize how much there is to love. The same might be true about your family.
You might not even need to “find your passion” to love what you do at work. In Thou Shall Prosper, Rabbi Daniel Lapin wrote, “It is a reliable fact that you tend to start enjoying anything at which you become competent and from which you derive a sense of happiness.”
I’ve previously acknowledged we might need to work a full time job outside of our passion for the rest of our lives when I talked about using your job as a tool. In a sense, you should find a job that can further your interest in other areas that are your passion. For example, my brother loves photography, but he does it as a hobby. He may never make any money out of it, but he loves doing it and he uses his full time job to enable him to pay for it.
Here are four steps to find what you love:
1. Take an inventory of things you spend your time doing (work, hobbies, family time, etc)
2. Write down what you like about how you spend your time
3. Think about where you’d be in life without these things
4. Review why you like these things each day
Loving what you find isn’t about settling; instead it’s about realizing you might already have exactly what you need in life. I spent last weekend with my family and we talked a lot about this concept… in fact, we use the concept a lot with our families! We don’t go out and search for the parents, siblings or children we love, we love the ones we have.
Have you learned to love what you’ve found, or are you still trying to find what you love?