6 Words To Make It Right

John WoodenYesterday, I gave you four words from John Wooden that I believe have led people to think misery is normal:

“Most jobs aren’t glamorous.”

My mind took an unexpected turn in the process and I ended up missing the point I wanted to make. Today I’m going to give you the six words I meant to:

“…but yours should be to you.”

Mr. Wooden is correct, the variety of occupations out there means most people will be something other than a movie star or professional athlete. However, the idea that our work has to bring fame or fortune is a misguided conception of prestige.

Instead of measuring the “glamor” in our lives by the number of paparazzi behind us, let’s tip the scales in favor of enjoyment and passion.

Which sounds more appealing, being in the public fishbowl all the time or coming home to your family feeling you’ve done something worthwhile? Would you rather be fatigued by the emotional toxicity of your environment or worn out from the amount of your soul you put into your day?

Most of us go into a field because of things like “return on investment,” thinking the money spent in college will be worth it because the pay can be great. We set aside “childish fascinations” to be sure we can handle “adult responsibilities.”

Think about this: Who seems to be having the most fun? Is it the guy that remembers wanting to be an engineer since he was six or the woman that decided to enter the field because there was a better chance she’d get a job? Do you think Bill Gates or Oprah Winfrey fell into their careers based on how much they would earn?

The old saying goes: “Do something you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.”

It’s a lie…but what other than love could make you really work like that?


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7 Responses to “6 Words To Make It Right”

  1. 1 Andrew Eichacker March 4, 2010 at 10:13 pm

    Interesting that I find myself going through your posts on the day that I am given an interesting perspective.

    This morning, I woke up early enough to make it to one of the community groups at my church (entitled Boot Camp due to its early meeting time and relative challenge). The Lead Pastor mentioned that he sees three types of people (related to this topic):

    1. Those who have a passion and enjoyment from their work. These are “the lucky ones”, as he put it. They simply do what they love.

    2. Those who work in order to pursue what they love. This is the person who is good at being a lawyer, though doesn’t necessarily enjoy or have a passion for it, and uses the finances to pursue their passion, like travel.

    3. Those who have no love or passion to pursue. THIS is who you do NOT want to be.

    Clearly, not everyone can do what they love. Our society doesn’t work that way. There are jobs that no one wants that are necessary. No one really has a passion for collecting garbage (though your childhood self might give proof of an exception).

    Sometimes, people can’t join the ranks of the lucky ones. Maybe they’re not good enough at what they want to do. Maybe no one is interested in paying someone to do it. No matter the case, it is important to pursue your life’s purpose, be it through work or not.

    “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”
    -Frederick Buechner

    • 2 Andrew Eichacker March 4, 2010 at 10:38 pm

      Note that my comment isn’t necessarily towards your situation, but rather your perspective. Its up to you to decide the category in which you are comfortable to live.

      Though it may take some investment in #2 before you can make it to #1.

      • 3 Jason Eichacker March 4, 2010 at 11:05 pm

        I think a lot of people believe pursuing your passion and having financial security–even becoming stratospherically wealthy–are mutually exclusive. The fact that some people do what they love is seen as “lucky,” though primarily it comes down to the decision to make time for what it is that lights your fire.

        There are tons of success stories about people that do whatever they can in their spare time to advance the goal. I remember reading the story of a successful author that would awaken at 4am and type for two hours on her novel, then spend 6am-9pm being a mom, then head back to the typewriter until her eyes would refuse to stay open.

        What I’m saying is that many of us refer to someone as fortunate because they are following that path, when the biggest difference is their level of commitment. All of us can be good at a lot of things, maybe great at four or five and then excellent at one if we’re willing to put in the time to discover what it is and make the effort to express it as fully as possible.

        Sometimes the world is hungry for something it is unaware exists. Microsoft came about because of the efforts of Bill Gates and Paul Allen, etc. to design something essentially unseen. I’m reminded of the old Henry Ford quote: “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said ‘faster horses.'”

        At the very least, we should endeavor to pursue the stuff that brings us great joy to its very end regardless of the outcome. At least then we’ll know we did all we could.

  1. 1 Substantiated Anger « MeBuilding Trackback on February 27, 2010 at 9:39 pm
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