I’ve often heard the refrain “Work to live. Don’t live to work.” While there is a lot in it that I can agree with, I’ve often heard it in response to me voicing my dreams of my Some Days and coupled with the message that, to aspire to find inspiration, joy and fulfillment in your work, is a futile endeavor. Naïve. Idealistic. Pollyanna.
THAT is the part with which I disagree. Strongly.
I boarded a boat the other night. San Diego Bay. As the sunset began painting the sky. In full costume, cheeks hurting from laughing so hard at the bold creativity surrounding me. A colleague turned to me and said something to the effect of “Wow. Sometimes I can’t believe this is really my life.”
I could not resonate MORE with that sentiment.
I do what I love and I love what I do. Really, it’s beyond “what” I do – it’s the who, what, where, why, when and how of it. And that leads to a lot of “pinch me” moments I try to stay present enough to notice.
When I was interviewed way back in my early in-house days for an article about my career, the article’s author and fellow lawyer noted I’d brought to mind the old adage, “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.”
Now, to be certain, my job is not all boat parties and sunsets. But, even when it’s not (most of the time), it is deeply fascinating, dynamic, diverse and rich. I am literally never bored. I laugh often. I learn and grow every day. Surrounded by awesome, inspiring people I authentically enjoy. And, for all those reasons and more, that saying gets pretty close to spot on.
So, don’t let anyone tell you to settle for less. Find something that lights your fire. Surround yourself with people that fill your bucket and make you better. Integrate your life so all the parts feed one another. And, then, go ahead…live to work!