It’s a simple statement that requires pause to consider. I heard Seth Godin say this on an old podcast this week.
“Do what you love” is the self-help guru’s mantra for all the people out there doing work that they find tedious, unimportant, and miserable.
But “Love what you do” is Seth’s mantra, stating that the goal in life is to find meaning and purpose and value in the work you are doing now, whatever that is.
I see the potential value in both mantras. I briefly handled SEO for companies whose core businesses I didn’t ethically approve of. Could I have found meaning and value in my work even there? Yes, probably. But only if I blinded myself to the fact that my successful contributions were promoting the spread of a culture I believe to be harmful. So in that case, it would be better to change my situation than to simply make the most of a bad one.
On the other hand, I can (and have) wasted years of my life searching for the “one thing” I should do for a living that I would love, that would be profitable, and that would be justifiable at the end of my life. I’ll never get those years back.
So it’s a both/and scenario for me. I am responsible for the work I put out into the world, and I have a responsibility to myself to love what I do right now, so that I’m not wasting the present while waiting for the future.
What do you think?