Home > Ideas and Philosophy > TPOV: Counter-Argument to Enjoying What You’re Doing

TPOV: Counter-Argument to Enjoying What You’re Doing

“Find something you love to do, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” – Harvey MacKay

There’s something to be said about finding something you love to do. If you have the chance to actually do it all the time, then that by itself is just great! Getting paid to do it just makes it perfect.

However I saw an interesting counter-argument against that. The gist is this: The psychological dynamic changes the moment you do what you love to do for the purpose of surviving in this world. As much as you love doing it, it ultimately boils down to doing work.

Bad Career Advice: Do What You Love and You’ll Never Work a Day (excerpts)

by Chrissy Scivicque

Work is called work because it’s not play. Once you depend on something to put food on your table, it becomes something different. It’s no longer “that thing you do for fun,” it’s “that thing you have to do for survival.”

That doesn’t mean you won’t end up enjoying or maybe even loving the work you do. But it will also be work. You probably won’t mistake it for anything else.

It’s dangerous to suggest that work can be anything other than work. Doing what you love can certainly make it a more enjoyable experience. But you’ll also experience a new side of that activity, and it won’t be comfortable. You’ll have to face the inescapable truth that there’s no fooling yourself. Work isn’t the same as play, no matter how similar they might appear on the surface.

When you do an activity all day long and depend on it for survival, the playfulness can disappear quickly. Just like in a marriage, it sometimes takes effort to stay in love.

Do I sound cynical? Perhaps a little. But too many people sit around convinced that if only they could turn their NASCAR obsession into a fulltime job, they’d finally be happy. I encourage you to take a deeper look at the things you love and what work means to you. There might be a happy intersection of the two, but don’t force it.

In this day and age you will be hard-pressed finding a job that you can truly enjoy, much less get paid for doing it. These days, you take what you can get and make the most of it until something better comes along (assuming one does) or you get fired – whichever comes first.

There’s truth in the counter-argument that everything ultimately boils down to work, even if it’s something you love doing. That said, I think it does still help make things a little easier if you enjoy what you’re doing compared to doing something because you just have to do it to survive, no matter how much you loathe it. We spend the best part of our lives working, and so if we’re not happy in what we do then that’s a huge chunk of our lives wasted in misery rather than spent in joy and fulfillment (more or less).

If we’re doing something we love, then I just hope that we never lose the sense of excitement and adventure that we found as this becomes the source of our survival in this world.

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Categories: Ideas and Philosophy

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