(Note: This is based on one of the prompts from Robert S. Kaplan’s book What You’re Really Meant to Do.)
I never cared much for that old saying “Love what you do and you’ll never work a day in your life.” I loved a lot of the stuff I did at Voce and MWW Group, but it was definitely work. Similarly, my attempts at novel writing are sometimes the hardest work I’ve ever done as I try to pull a story from my brain and arrange it in some sort of sensible order. Heck, even writing on this blog is sometimes very much “work” and it’s one of the most enjoyable parts of my day.
No, the more accurate phrase would be something like “Love what you do and you usually won’t mind working all those days.” It’s overly-idealistic to believe that people are going to be able to do what they love, much less do so easily. I’m sure there are plenty of highly-skilled doctors who love what they do, but it took years of training to get them to the career level they’re at and still frequently have days where they’d rather be planting trees for the park district. If you’re doing what you love it’s likely because you worked hard to be in a position to do that.
So what are my passions? What would I do, as the hypothetical question asks, if money weren’t an issue and I could do what I want? Here are some considered thoughts:
- Philanthropic causes: One of the areas of my life I’ve always wanted to expand is my involvement with charities and other worthy causes. Environmental issues, helping those in poverty, helping those dealing with a chronic illness in the family…name it and I would gladly devote my time to it. Not being able to do more in this area constantly pulls at me, but this is something that is hard. How do you squeeze in time doing charitable good when you’re working part-time retail with unreliable hours and trying to squeeze as much value from your time as a freelancer as possible? This will happen some day, that may just not be for a little while longer.
- My family: I’ll just leave it at I would love to travel with my family, take them to new and interesting places. Heck, I’d love to just have more time to sit down and show my kids the movies I loved as a kid. I like my family and would enjoy spending more time with them.
- Writing: This might sound odd considering it’s almost all I do at this point in my freelancing life, but I wish I had more time to write. There’s always a dozen or more thought-starter notes I’ve stashed in a Google Doc along with things I regularly write about. The half-finished novel stares at me accusingly from the shelf the notepads are sitting on. The unused writing prompts that come through various feeds are always tempting but are usually the first to be jettisoned because of time.
That last one is notable for being the one that’s most readily applicable to the job market. It’s why so many of the positions I’ve applied for recently have been pure-play writing jobs. I want to do this more, and every time I have the chance to do it more I just want that much more. It’s my addiction and I’m always craving a hit.
What are your passions?