A friend recently sent me a quote from Confucius that went something like this: “just find what it is you love to do and you will never have to work a day in your life.” To be fair, I have seen this quote many times in the past and heard quite a few variations from it from others over time.
Then, true to what it is we do here at Rewire, I put some thought to this. More specifically, I sought to challenge my own thinking about this. I so wanted to believe that this was a truism (after all, Confucius said it and who can disagree with Confucius?). Because there is something so desirable about not having to work because I simply uncovered something I loved so much.
Then I started to question why I longed for such a thing. I didn’t have to travel very far before I realized that the meaning of this quote was food for my hungry lizard brain. Well of course I don’t want to work. Our lizard brains can trick us into believing that there is a path that leads to joy and prosperity that comes through idleness. Look at the quote again. The great Chinese philosopher is pointing us toward joy through idleness: “… you’ll never have to work…”
Now in all fairness, I suppose one could choose to focus their attention on the “find what you love” part, and that wouldn’t be a bad thing.
For the rest of us, perhaps it would be better to find joy in our work where we are. But work we will. There are people all over the world (and some right in our own backyards) who would do anything for a decent job. Let us do the honorable thing and learn to appreciate the work we have.
I propose that we do indeed pursue things that we love to do. But let us not confuse that with work. And know that if you work, you will always have a challenging day or two. Embrace that, too.