How sustainable is the ‘Do what you love’ mantra?
Miya Tokumitsu, author of ‘Do What You Love And Other Lies About Success and Happiness’, says, in an interview with The Altantic, she feels there’s a sort of dark hedonism in the pursuit of this ideal – like an addiction, where one is relentlessly seeking those “good feelings.”
Is this another way of saying that the ‘too much of a good thing’ principle can apply to a career based only on ‘love’?
Case in point – I worked in a café for 6 months surrounded by delicious food (my ‘happy place’) and ended up 10kgs heavier and very unfulfilled!
So, I think better advice is to find what ‘we care about’.
We are constantly telling organisations to find and commit to their ‘why’ and communicate this through a meaningful brand, but we don’t necessarily put the same pressures on ourselves.
I think a lot of the reason is that it’s easier said than done for most of us.
There’s mortgages to pay, bills to deal with, kids to raise, cars to fix – wistfully pursuing a noble vocation that usually translates to little $$ might be a bit pie-in-the-sky.
So how on earth do those of us stuck in a ‘what’ get some ‘why’ in our lives? How do we fish out the ‘vocation’ in our ‘profession’?
We might find some answers in the endless advice on ‘careers’ and ‘callings’ littered through
Here’s two phrases I came across, for instance, that resonate with me…
‘Consider your epitaph, not your resume’
What do you really want to be remembered for? Read out your eulogy in your head – are you happy with what’s being said? What change can you make in your next career move that carves out more of your epitaph and less of your resume?
‘Find a problem to solve‘
How can I make my professional skill work to help fix a societal problem? Is there something I can do after hours, something I could suggest as an extra-curricular activity at work that makes a difference in a way I know will be fulfilling?
It’s not easy, but getting little bit of ‘why’ in our everyday work lives might go a long way.
Incidentally, I’ve now found my ‘why’ here at MamaTray where I now eat a lot less sandwiches and use my strategy smarts to help other organisations find their ‘why’. Ha!
These wise words come from the brain of Mandy Lawler.