Aug 24, 2023

The clash between Do what you love AND Love what you do

 I stumbled upon this quote credited to Steve Jobs - 

"If you are working on something that you really care about, you don't have to be pushed. The vision pulls you".

As I thought about this quote, memories of certain times flashed.

The late morning hours when I would rush to the supermarket to take pictures of nutrition labels and rush back to research the ingredients and write blog posts

The times when I used to take orders and cook weekend breakfast and lunch menus as a home chef

The late nights when I would write SQL queries to crunch data and analyze the nutrition intake of app users in my role as a product manager for a health startup

When you do what you love, external motivation or micro-management isn't required. You experience a state of "flow" and are fully immersed in the process. But such moments are rare and precious.

Many times, you end up trying to "love what you do".

You try to rationalize the reasons and convince your intellect. In some cases, such efforts could eventually lead to figuring out "what you love" after you have developed certain competencies over time. I found my interest in Cooking through this process.

When you force yourselves to love what you do, if you aren't inspired, it takes a lot of internal effort to stay motivated. It can drain the life energy out of you when you constantly try to push yourself through logic. You might give rational excuses like "The pay is good", "I'm doing this for my family", "society values this", etc. But if your heart feels lost or out of place, it is a strenuous effort to stay on the course. As years go by, you will find it hard to sustain. The mental conflicts are stronger IF you know what you love but unable to pursue it for various reasons.

If you can find a balance by allocating time to pursue what you love amidst other things you need to do, your heart calms down, having been "listened" to. 

Allocate a portion of your time to "do what you love" every week. It then makes "loving what you do" a lot easier.

This can be challenging, though, if there are various other responsibilities and high workplace demands.

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