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Perhaps you've heard the old saying, do what you love and the money will follow. It's a nice thought that if you work on something that you're passionate about, then money is just naturally going to flow to you and give you a blissful career. There is a strong element of truth to this statement. However, the reality is that many people have a very difficult time making a living doing what they love. Sometimes they lack the physical gifts necessary for a successful career. For instance, many people love sports but lack the athleticism, size, and coordination to succeed professionally.
Sometimes it's because they love doing something in a market that's oversaturated with other people who also love to do it. For instance, I love music, yet there are millions of other musicians in the world. Love alone is not enough to guarantee successful career; however, it is a critical element. Many people choose a career solely in the pursuit of money. Yet, because they do not love that career, they end up being frustrated in their job, being less successful overall, and may perhaps quit or change careers over time.
Perhaps a better rephrasing of the original statement is: do what you love, and it's more likely that money will follow, but you still need talent. When you love what you do, you're willing to endure the moments of work that you dislike. For instance, I love the opportunity to teach and train you just as I'm doing now, but I dislike the editing process that it takes to prepare for the camera. Yet, because I love what I do so much, I'm willing to put up with that small annoyance in pursuit of the greater goal.
In short, doing what you love gives you longevity, endurance, and persistence. We've provided a worksheet to make it easier for you to discover what it is that you love. No matter how clear you may feel about this in your mind, I suggest you complete this worksheet, because it will strengthen your commitment. The first question is, what part of your current job do you love the most? Every job has things that people like to do and things they don't like to do.
List the things you like to do here. The second question is, if money were no object, what would you do for a career? This assumes that retirement isn't an option. Imagine that you did need to work for the rest of your life, but that you didn't need to worry about paying the bills. What kind of work would you most enjoy doing? The next question is, which work activities do you get lost in? There are probably some things you do at work that cause you to be absorbed day in and day out in the work process. Maybe you work late doing something simply because you love it, and people have to tell you to stop.
You may want to ask someone else for their perspective on this. If you have any activities like that, list them here. Next, list your hobbies, whether it's collecting stamps, or fishing, whatever it is, list it here. This hobbies question preps you for the next more-vital question. What are some elements of those hobbies that are applicable to the workplace? Perhaps I can find a strong career equivalent of collecting stamps.
For instance, attention to detail, categorization, valuation, all those things have very strong equivalents in the workplace. So consider aspects of your hobbies that you may love doing that can be useful in your career. The last question just gives you a moment to reflect. Pause quietly and ponder for 5 minutes, focusing on only one question: What kind of work do you love the most? Allow your mind to reflect back on all the different work you've done since your first memory.
Which kind of work did you most enjoy? Use a timer if necessary. After 5 minutes, write down the answer that you've come up with. Once you've gone through all those questions, there is a Multiple mentions section at the bottom of the worksheet. Review your worksheet looking for patterns, anything you've mentioned more than once. If you've mentioned more than once that you enjoy working with or talking to people, then list that. List everything you see multiple times up to the top five in that bottom section.
We'll use this later when we put your gifts, loves, and skills together to discover your talents. Remember, if you do what you love, it's more likely that money will follow, but you still need talent.
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