Do what you love or love what you do?
Get your dream job, and…
We now live in a time where doing things you love, for money, is an imperative. It is the logical sequel to the story of self knowing, self appreciation. It may be an answer to previous sociological ideas of doing the right thing, and that right thing was mostly good for the community, the country, mankind. After the pressure to be more altruistic in our lifes — comes this. And I do not know what to do with this.
The story is very seductive, and it pleases my heart when I think about it. Be yourself — do what you love.
But is it really like that? Do you have to know one self to find the work you love, or the choice of the work arises when you reach the ultimate knowledge of self? I’m wondering does this imperative that we live in, liberates or condemns us all to an endless whirlpool of self analysis and self doubt. What about the people who haven’t got a slightest clue of what they are doing, or are they doing something they love, like or just — tolerate? Are they lesser people, lost and ready for a “Get to know yourself” journey? Sometimes it seems like it.
Maybe it my thirties talking, maybe it’s the philosophical mind drunk on TV commercials (which most of them, may I say, communicate in a more or less direct way that you SHOULD and MUST get in touch with your inner self and become WHO YOU REALLY ARE — especially the commercials that have nothing to do with SELF, like laundry detergent ads), but nevertheless I can’t wrap my mind around the fact that I have an urge to become myself and do what I love. This road ahead scares me, in a way that rises a question: “Do I need to take it, or just want?” Needs and wants were mixed up a long time ago, maybe with Bernays, maybe not, but it’s a fact that you can’t always distinguish the two easily. So, between the need and want I realize that most of the time I really love what I do — even though the thing I do wasn’t a chosen thing — it just was something I could do.
The thing that bothers me is when you do not choose to do the thing you love. For example: I love gardening — but I will not do it for work — I do something else like secretary work.
It seems that the general public, excluding the ones that “don’t judge and live and let live”, are strongly opinionated about this matter. From your closest people to the ones you just met, a sense of disapproval can be detected. “Why don’t you just quit your job and do gardening? You must do what you love!” This was more potent during the faculty years — everyone must go to faculty — you must find out what you love to do — as if knowledge is somehow locked up in these buildings, buried inside the minds of chosen professors. I see the faces of the Gardeners that are just plain secretaries, that they are ashamed, and almost always try to justify themselves. Sad. Is it because we are afraid of people who do not dive in the things they love, as if they don’t have the capacity for it- so they are no good to us ether? Is it because there is another even more senseless postulate: Love yourself and then you can love others?
Maybe I’m over analyzing things and the pressure is there only if you allow it. But isn’t it right that when you reach the point of not allowing things to pass through your membrane, that itself is an evidence of strong self? The very self that MUST and only does what it loves?
There is a strong sociological aspect of this all, the goal of living in a modern urban environment, versus the harsh times with no abundance people came across in history. I wonder if Do what you love is the guide in less developed countries, where the work you do is only justified by the real needs you and your family have?
Only the question are something that can shine the light on bits and pieces of knowledge that emerge sporadically, and no quote or catchphrase or answer can compete with the process of searching for your truth.
And, yeah, my final line is: I love what I do — whatever the fuck I’m doing. Now and ever.
What say you?