I often hear people ask another in casual conversation “what is it you do for a living?” I think while this question encompasses the common mentality that we work to live; it fails to reflect the way things should be of living to work. This statement may create many to think why in the world would I want to live for my job? Work is often seen as something we want to be liberated from. Many of us trudge along in our jobs working for money. We go to college, not to understand the world better, but to become trained in a skill or a trade that will lead to gainful employment. Then we become employed and cannot wait to get home after work or have our weekend of freedom. Work then becomes a manner of necessity to acquire the freedom to do what we really want to do with our time.
However, what if we looked at it another way, the way artisans look at their life. Artists whether musicians, writers, painters, sculptors, etc. seek to make manifest their desire to create. Some succeed and bring in money to live by that allows them to continue to do what they love.
I think we can find that thing that we would most enjoy to do with our life by asking ourselves, what is it we would do if money and time were not a problem? If we had all the time in the world and money couldn’t hold us back what would we give our time to doing? To put it another way, what is it we dream of doing with our life?
Once we know what that is, and I would wager that many have known for years but haven’t thought its attainment possible, we can look at how we can achieve that end. Obviously we need money to live in this world so that which we do would most likely need to provide an income to support ourselves or our families. If we look at that thing we desire to do as possible to attain we may be able to see how it could be manifested.
For me, that thing is writing. I love to write. I could write hours upon hours each day. Writing though is something I could get paid for if I did freelance journalism or some other manner of employment. So I could use what I most desire to do to bring in an income to sustain its reality. This would be an example of living for work instead of working to live.
I think many of us would be much happier in life following that deep dream of ours then working because it’s a responsibility we must bear for whatever reason. Now of course there is nothing wrong with hard work and supporting one’s family. What I am discussing doesn’t negate that, I am just redirecting that to join it with doing what we desire to do and accomplishing both ends.
I wonder often how many attorneys practice law because they love justice versus it being a lucrative career. How many in the medical profession serve because they love to help people rather than needing a good job? How many people working in customer service jobs actually like people versus needing to make some money? I am sure some do. I have met attorneys who love justice and want to help those in need of legal services and do their job because they love it. I have met nurses and doctors who truly care for their patients. I have met those in customer service that love people and are happy serving the needs of others. But there are many more that can’t wait to escape the working world to something else. What if it didn’t have to be that way? What if we could work at what we love? What if we could follow our dreams and have the time and money necessary to see them come true? I think we can. I think our dreams are there to be followed.
I recall a scene in the Adam Sadler movie Mr. Deeds. Deeds is speaking at an assembly of board members and stock holders of his deceased uncles company. He is seeking to remind these people all consumed with the bottom dollar what is important in life. He asks them what they wanted to be when they grew up. People began to answer him, first tentatively and then jubilantly. One said, a fireman, another said a veterinarian and others chimed in with their childhood dreams. The scene captured that desire in us to follow our dreams and their realization that they were on a different path than that which would fulfill them.
One last thing, I think some people are in their dream job and have forgotten that with the day to day drudgery of work. What was once a goal in college to be such and such and do a particular thing became forgotten when it became a responsibility one was tied to instead of a dream one was living. If that’s you take time to remember why you embarked on this career path to start with and see if it is still true for you today. If it isn’t, is that because your dream has changed, or your realization that you’re living it has been lost and needs to be regained?
We can all find that dream of our hearts and it is never too late to enter into it. Lost time can be quickly restored once we step into that dream bringing the desire of our hearts into a reality we can live. No dream is too big. If you dreamed it and it has been in your heart just waiting to come to fruition it can be made manifest. Consider your dream. Pull it down off the shelf, dust it off, and dream about it. You might be surprised what you can come up with to start living it.