Your Work: A Job, a Career, or a Calling

I think in life we can have one in three relationships with our work: a job, a career, or a calling. And, for me, given how many hours a week we tend to work in this U.S. American culture, I don’t want to have a job. I don’t even want to have a career. I want to have a calling. A calling is sort of something that you do not because you get paid well, not because of the money, not because of the recognition. You do it because of the intrinsic motivation. You lose track of time.

– Chip Conley (Good Life Project)

Many people aspire to do what they love and there’s even a famous axiom — do what you love and you’ll never work a day — that has become quite cliche. Call me cynical, but I’ve always disagreed with anyone whenever this was the topic of conversation. Chrissy Scivicque explains it nicely:

Yes, it’s a wonderful goal to strive for finding work that you enjoy. In fact, it should be a goal for everyone. But this absurd axiom suggests that you can simply take what you already love, turn it into something for which you get paid (meaning, you have clients and bosses and deadlines and obligations…) and it won’t ever feel like anything other than that thing you love.

This is a blatant, hurtful lie that far too many people fall for. And they end up feeling like something is wrong with them, when really something is wrong with the idea they’ve been sold.

When something you love becomes work, it fundamentally—and unavoidably—changes the way in which you interact with it.

(Source: Forbes)

So should we not do what we love?

This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t pursue our passions; it just means we’re more apt to feel satisfied doing it if we define success in terms beyond financial gain. That might mean we need to live on less. It might mean we need to balance our passion with other work.

– Lori Deschene (Tiny Buddha)

This is an aggregate of the posts I’ve read after a great conversation between Jonathan Fields and Chip Conley. I usually go on a reading spree after hearing or reading something that really resonates with me.


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