I’m not sure I agree with this premise. I think “do what you love” doesn’t have to mean “do what you love for a living.” I think there are people who were born to to do what they love and have the focus and dedication to succeed. Others can find a job they are good at and succeed. And much of the world doesn’t seem to be living up to their potential with doing work that they find satisfying or meaningful (although they might like some aspects of their job, such as their co-workers.) They work for a paycheck and “live” the rest of the time, hopefully then doing what they love with people they love, but maybe not.
Even those who strive to do what they love might never be good enough to support themselves through that venue. But they can still find fulfillment in the process, if they are able to let go of the dream of stardom (in whatever way that looks in their type of work) and enjoy what level they are at. And there is also the idea of CRAFT, meaning that someone might not be good at doing what they love but through study and hard work and learning, they become good/proficient/great at what they love and succeed.
I’m blessed enough to do what I was born to do — be a healer, which took a lot of work and schooling to get those initials after my name and allow my natural gifts to find the right environment to help others. I’m also blessed enough to have a second career that I also love — as an author. I didn’t have the natural talent with writing, but I did work hard to learn the craft and am now a NY Times Bestselling author. But you would never have known I’d become that by looking at the first 90 pages of the first draft of my first book.
The ones I feel sorry for are the people who can’t find what they are good at — or at least not to make money from it. Or those who would need years of education to do what they love, but they never could afford it. Or the ones who never had, and probably never will be able to do what they love because they have to do a menial job — that they are good at — to survive. Or the ones with big dreams who work hard but won’t ever be good enough, and so they become bitter or disillusioned.
If I could change the world by waving a magic wand, my wish would be for everyone to live up to their potential — doing what they love and what they are good at.
Debra Holland, Ph. D