Is It Possible To Never Work A Day In Your Life?

Posted on November 27, 2011

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

Quoted by Confucius, more recently made popular by Steve Jobs – easier said than done, right? I hate to disagree with extremely smart, cool, and famous people, but this quote is extremely misleading. Let’s look at it.

Similar to the intro quote, “you can be anything you want to be.” We are taught this from day one, but yet we aren’t educated and brought up on this notion. Everyone we admire: our parents, our teachers, religious leaders, even Lady Gaga tells us that we can do anything if we put our minds to it. Ironically however, when we spend the first seventeen or so years of our lives in school preparing for our futures, we’re taught to focus on areas that we don’t excel in. The thought process being that we should be well-rounded before we can become dominant in something.

I’m fine with this philosophy, and it’s worked for many, many years. But is there enough being done to encourage the awareness of a particular strength and then to build upon it? In most cases, we’re taught to seek out our weaknesses and improve, which again, isn’t necessarily wrong. Foundations are what strengths are built upon, but just how wide does the foundation need to be? I feel the emphasis should be in the depth of the foundation, not the width.

I’m all for working hard, but at the end of the day, a job is still a job no matter how much you love it. You must constantly prepare, educate, and practice to become better, stronger, and faster, or else you’re simply not living it. If all of this is “fun” for you and not “work,” you may need to check yourself.

Example? Sure. Before I started working at my current agency, I knew very little about SEO and how it tied in with digital marketing in general. Now, every single day I spend two hours a day at minimum reading about SEO and digital marketing news. Let’s bring it back several months earlier when I was actively looking for a job. From 7AM until past midnight I would research, take notes on articles, introduce myself and talk with people all across the country, write blog posts, and tirelessly worked to make sure I knew what was happening in the digital world as it happened. Oh yea, and I worked 40+ hours a week at a restaurant, too. But if I didn’t do all of that, if I wasn’t as committed to finding out every morsel of information about what I love to do – what favor would I being doing myself? I don’t want to just be another marketer. Certainly I’m not expecting to create the next Facebook, but my goal is to learn as much as possible so that I will be able to find what I love, do what I love, and be comfortable in loving what I do.

No matter how much you love something, you have to work for it to make it meaningful. Not just for careers; this pertains to maintaining relationships, wealth, religion, and everything else in life that provides happiness.  “Do what you love, and you’ll love what you do” motivates me to put passion into my work daily so that I can explore new areas and find that perfect career. I want something to show for what I’ve achieved in life – not for others, but for my own happiness.

So, Mr. Jobs – you will forever continue to inspire and move us with your eloquence, but yes, even you had to work to accomplish your goals.

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