How to Do What You Love: Part I
By Mike Jacquart
Raise your hand if you’ve heard this saying: “Do something you really love to do and you won’t have to work a day in your life.” But is this really possible? To people who hate their jobs, this may seem impossible, but it isn’t. Is it easy? No. But it IS possible to “do what you love.”
A big part of the problem with work is that what we learn about it when we’re kids is all wrong, and that has repercussions well into adulthood. In fact we’re told three basic lies about work:
The things children are taught to think of as work is not real work.
Grownup work is not necessarily worse than schoolwork.
Many adults lie when they say they “like what they do” for a living.
Let’s break these out one by one.
The things children are taught to think of as work is not real work. Play involves fun, what you want to be doing. Schoolwork involves doing things you don’t want to be doing – reciting multiplication facts, for starters. School is thought of as training for adult work, and that, you’re told is worse than schoolwork. Tedious. Dull. That’s work. Schoolwork is WORK, and only play is FUN. Work can’t be enjoyable!
Ever heard this one: “You can be whatever you want to be when you grow up, so long as you enjoy it?” Chances are, that notion sailed right over your head just like the kite you accidentally let go of one warm, spring afternoon. The idea that Dad could actually “enjoy” his job in any way like you enjoyed walking the family dog or riding your bike? Ludicrous!
It’s a lie that takes many of us a long time to unravel as adults. Now, on to point two.
Grownup work is not necessarily worse than schoolwork. This goes hand in hand with the previous point. It stands to reason that if Dad (I keep saying “Dad” because many Moms didn’t work outside the home when I was a kid) not only “didn’t hate” but might have actually liked his job, or at least parts of it, then he actually wasn’t as miserable all day long as he let on. Kind of like how a kid might hate math, but love English.
Sure, Dad “hated” having to come in on Saturday to clean the bonderizer at the factory, but the spray painting he did each day? Not so bad. Why else would he paint the house on his vacation if he absolutely detested painting? But when you’re kid, you aren’t aware that there are different degrees of work. Work is just, well, WORK!
Many adults lie when they say they “like what they do” for a living. For one thing, it’s usually bad for one’s career to say you “despise your job.” It’s much easier to clam up, go to work, and pay the bills like everyone else. Bob tells Phil he sells cars for a living. “Do you like it?” Phil asks. “Sure,” Bob replies. What else would he say?
This is where money can come into play, and not in a good way. Bob might feel he is being a great father because he sells enough cars to afford a really nice, two-story home, complete with 10 acres of land and an outdoor pool. Being a good provider for his family is certainly admirable, but at what cost? Maybe it would be better for his kids if Bob was not quite so unselfish visibly seen trudging off to work each day. Phil, who loves driving a city bus because of all the great people he gets to see, just might help his kids more in the long run, even if their house isn’t as nice and they don’t have a pool.
Next time: All about boundaries, or “bounds”, sirens, discipline, and routes.
Mike Jacquart is the author of Climbing Out of Darkness: A Personal Journey into Mental Wellness (with Marina London LCSW) can be found at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BQ58KJH4?fbclid=IwAR27QzfHVTSHntSunkbciH_A4xcRz7Kuwor6hLwWlX9Hutc3IInh3dAaN9w
If you would like a personalized, signed copy, email me at email@example.com
Check out this podcast, in which I described my book and mental health concerns with Fresh Hope founder Brad Hoefs. http://freshhopeformentalhealth.com/mike-jacquart/?fbclid=IwAR19N8zMRY7biUVGW4VGGNnrVql_n7WbPBb8XganBbQmMluxXluLdfBRLqw