If You Haven’t Worked a Day in Your Life, You Probably Don’t Love Anything

Autonomy, mastery and purpose.
http://youtu.be/wdzHgN7_Hs8

THEN you’ll love it, the whole thing, not just the thing that you’re doing RIGHT now that might not be enjoyable in itself. Like the author says, nobody enjoys changing “diapers” (nappies) but people still have children.

The Indisputable Dirt

You’ve heard it before, the beloved aphorism from the ever-intriguing Confucius;

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

choose_a_job_you_love_and_you_will_never_have_to_work_a_day_in_your_life

I’ve also heard it attributed to Albert Einstein, but the internet tells me that Confucius coined it, so we’ll go with that. Regardless, you’ve probably seen it in the form of a meme, pinned a thousand times on Pinterest, shared on Facebook, tweeted on twitter, etc…

Confucius2

 ^stuff like this^

I understand why the quote is so popular. There is something inspiring, something hopeful about it. It is just poetic enough to sound reasonable, just vague enough to withstand any serious scrutiny.

The only problem, of course, is that it is almost entirely false.

If the phrase was not so oft-quoted, if I did not think it influenced people’s decisions, I wouldn’t be writing this post. But from where I stand, this…

View original post 1,026 more words

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3 Responses to If You Haven’t Worked a Day in Your Life, You Probably Don’t Love Anything

  1. I do find this topic interesting, I’ve learned to call it the’ Passion Myth’ from Cal Newport’s research on the topic, summarised in his book “So Good They Can’t Ignore You”. I like this latest Blog entry from him http://calnewport.com/blog/2014/06/21/the-concrete-satisfaction-of-deep-work/

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  2. Charles Beauregard says:

    For me this poses an interesting question – is doing a job you love necessarily the best thing for you?
    Take me for example. I definitely don’t love my job – most of the work I do (in the public sector) is pointless and doesn’t help the customer. It scores very low in terms of ‘purpose’.
    Because of this, and my inevitable low motivation, I tend only to work the hours I’m contracted to do. To be honest, I’m pretty lazy at work.
    If I managed to get a job I love – ticking all the autonomy, mastery, and purpose boxes, I would definitely be more motivated. I also suspect that, because of this motivation, I would end up doing loads more hours at work.
    More hours at work could mean I get home after by baby goes to bed in the week, so I wouldn’t get to see her. It could mean I play less sport – good for both my physical and mental health. It could mean that when it gets to the weekend I’m too knackered to do anything worthwhile with my free time.
    So although doing a job I love might make me more content while I’m at work, would it be a bad move taking my non-work life in to account?
    Does this mean that us people doing non-value work are actually on to something – a secret to happiness we are not even aware of?

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    • ThinkPurpose says:

      yes, thats interesting.
      On the other hand, the time i’ve most “brought work home”, always just in my head, has been when the work has been the most useless and poisonous. It was clearly all wrong and so I couldnt leave it nicely at work. It snared itself in my head because the vicious defensive culture at the time meant nobody could act practically about the work everyone had to lie about it in front of managers, presenting a front nobody believed but everybody playacted at.
      I’m not saying the same is true of others, but I imagine a crap working atmosphere doing work that is clearly pointless will be harder to leave behind at work mentally than decent real work that people can honestly talk about without the defensive and nasty atmosphere that accompanies pretend work.
      Not sure that real work would necessarily mean more hours. People at my place work hugely longer hours at clearly pretend “work” that I couldnt see them doing with real work because pretend work has no limits as it has no basis in reality only in opinion. The rules of physics dont apply in dreams just as the rules of reality dont apply in pretend work. Theres no limit to the amount of reports and memos that can be written but there IS a limit to how much real work can be done at a laptop.

      Then there’s that question about whether people doing non-value work are onto something. This reminds me of the diagram of the Gervais Principle, below
      triangle
      The people at the bottom are “losers” but purely in an economic sense. They have made a bargain to do the minimum necessary to keep going. They give as little as possible, knowing it is pointless to everyone to give more.

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