Doing What You Love Vs. Loving What You Do
“Follow your dreams!” they said…
Follow your dreams. What does that actually mean? Is following your dreams finding a company you love working for and enjoying the lifestyle the company allows you to lead? Or, is following your dreams doing what you love no matter how much you may suffer in the process?
Dreams and suffering.
These two words are not commonly used together, but as we grow older we realize they should be. Regardless of what your life goal is, at some point there will be suffering and despair. There will be regret and stress to deal with. This is simply a part of life that no one can avoid. When you’re trying to figure out what path you should journey down, understand this; doing what you love and loving what you do are very different things and before you choose your path, you must have an understanding of both of them.
In a perfect world….
…everyone would be able to sustain a career while practicing whichever passion drives them most. Many would consider passions to be music, or art, cooking, or playing baseball. Anything that a child would enjoy doing- or the very things they wish they could have done. Scarcely we hear children speaking of there aspirations to be accountants or union workers, yet so many grow up to be just that. You may say that somewhere along the line they lost hold of their dreams and settled for mediocrity, but that isn’t necessarily true.
See, the loving what you do is so much more than loving where you work. Those who pursue a not so glamorous, may actually be living the life they’ve always dreamed. How you ask? At the end of the day it all boils down to security, and by security I mean money. Does anyone really dream of becoming a garbage man? No, probably not; but why is being a garbage man so bad?
According to CNN some of the highest paid garbage collectors are making over 100K without degrees, and that total is before their benefits. 100k without college debt? That sounds like a fantasy, but it’s real life. It’s not just trash collectors. Other union jobs such as Custodial staff, oil riggers, construction workers and coal miners could also bring in over 100k before benefits, over time and pension plans. Seems like blue collar is doing something right, doesn’t it?
So maybe these workers aren’t doing what they had always dreamed of, but having a beautiful house, not being stressed over any type of medical issues that come up, being paid a healthy amount without a degree and being granted generous amounts of vacation and personal days set them up pretty nicely. Plenty of time to travel, enjoy family and holidays,these people get to do the things they love doing because their job allows them to, in turn, letting them love what they do because of the quality of life it lets them lead.
Does that mean you doing what you love is wrong?
Of course not. Doing what you love and what makes you happy will never be considered as wrong, but you have to have a firm grasp of what doing what you love entails. If your passion is to write, there’s is something you need to know. Writing doesn’t always come with a large paycheck. In fact, more times than not, writers spend years just trying to break the 50k mark. It takes a long time to make a name for yourself in the world of writing and journalism, therefore you must be in it for the long hall and understand how competitive that field is.
There is money to be made, but other facts must be accounted for. Benefits could be much harder to get- and way more expensive. Depending on who you write for, holidays, weekends and personal time could be drastically effected. The first one to cover the story gets the recognition, and in the journalism field, recognition is everything.
According to BuzzFeed, many in this field also feel under paid-
With salaries starting so low and a field such as this to be so hard to advance in, certain aspects of life such as traveling, paying off debts, owning homes and starting a family may be prolonged because of financial difficulties.
If you’re going to do what you love, then it is key to remember that you are doing what you love. If you’re okay sacrificing for your career, then Godspeed. If you’re not, then maybe doing what you love is hindering you from really doing what you love.
In the end…
Everyone will follow their hearts. The decisions you make are ones you must stand by and understand as to not have future regrets. By no means am I trying to deter you from following your dream- clearly, I’m a writer- just be opened minded to difference between doing what you love and loving what you do. The grass isn’t always greener. Be smart, think ahead, and make sure you always think of your long term happiness.