“Do what you love. Love what you do…” and what it means to me

I’m sure you’ve heard of this quote at least once in your life. There have been many art prints crafted around this catchy saying.

The late visionary behind Apple, Steve Jobs, has always preached about the importance of doing what you love. In his commencement address at Stanford University almost a decade ago, he said:

You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work.

But this quote has a dangerous, perhaps jaded edge to it. Not everybody has the opportunity to choose what job they want, especially given the fierce competition against a multitude of people all dreaming of cushy jobs. Surely not everyone can create a company as popular and successful as Apple. Some people have to contend with humdrum 8 to 5 jobs, tiring night shifts, or dirty, difficult jobs. So what then?

Some articles have been criticizing this work mantra, and telling people to ignore it. This particular article really hits the bull’s eye on the socio-economic perspective of the quote.

What some of you might not know is that the real quote, before it got pinned and reblogged and tweeted, read like so:

Love what you do and do what you love.

It was written by Ray Bradbury, an author. Now he does go on to say “if you don’t like what you’re doing, then don’t do it”, but I’d like to just focus on that line above and the subtle difference with the more famous order of words.

The difference? In this quote, the loving part precedes the doing part, and this, for me, is the mantra we should follow. Even if we are not CEOs of a company; even if we are stuck in front of a computer the whole time; we should learn to appreciate the work we do.

Here’s the challenge: to find an aspect of your job that you are most passionate about. You could love the knowledge that you are helping customers, or you could even just love the work as a stepping stone to a better career. This positive energy will prevent you from getting stressed, which means it will help you finish tasks faster AND preserve your sanity as well. Let this positivity become routine for you and in no time, you will find yourself doing what you love

What’s your take on this quote?

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