Are you easily distracted at work?
Do you shy away from talking about your work because it’s boring?
Do you want to lead a more interesting life surrounded by interesting people?
If so, then it is time to start thinking about work differently. It may sound like a simple idea, but having an interest in the work you do can improve your life.
By the end of this blog post you will understand:
- the importance of work in our lives
- what it means to do work you’re passionate about or interested in
- the 3 reasons why interest in your work leads to a more fulfilling life
- how to figure out what kind of work interests you
Why Do We Need Work
In the age of rapidly increasing automation, there is a phrase that gets tossed around quite a bit:
“Humans need work much more than work needs humans.”
Because work gives us a sense of purpose. It can challenge us to improve, allow us to feel connected to our communities, give us regular goals to meet which provide us with a sense of fulfillment, and it enables us to support ourselves and our families.
On the flip side, humans without a sense of purpose can find themselves feeling stuck, depressed, anxious, and in tragic cases, hopeless and worthless.
So, work is important because it can give us purpose, but what about passion?
What is Passion?
The definition of passion most relevant to this discussion is:
- an intense desire or enthusiasm for something
In other words: you give a shit about what you do.
It’s one thing to work a job just because you want a paycheck.
It is a completely different thing if you are actively interested in what you do for that paycheck.
Just think about the last time you got excited about something—what did you do?
For me, when I get excited about something, I can’t learn enough about it. I want to read about it on the internet, watch YouTube videos and documentaries that cover it, find podcasts that discuss it, listen to audiobooks about it, and talk to my friends and family about it. I want to be knowledgeable about it and put that knowledge to use, even if it’s just writing about it or talking about it.
3 Reasons You Should Care
Fulfillment and Happiness
If you’re spending 8-12 hours a day doing work you don’t care about, how challenging do you think it would be to feel happy or excited about your work?
How difficult would it be to wake up feeling motivated and enthusiastic about tackling your day if you could not care less about what you are doing all day long?
Now imagine spending one third of your waking life doing something you are genuinely interested in, learning about, and getting better at.
Sound good? Then keep reading and we’ll get you there!
People tend to associate with like-minded people.
If you hate your life, you are going to struggle to make friends with people who love theirs.
Why would people who have a passion for life want to spend their precious time around people who do nothing but complain about everything that happens to them?
People who lead interesting lives associate with other people who lead interesting lives, and people who lead boring lives associate with other people who lead boring lives.
The same thing goes for work. If you do work you’re not interested in, how likely are you to build connections with people who love their work?
If you want a social circle and professional network of interesting people, then you must lead a life interesting enough for those people to want to be a part of it. And if you want to be more interesting, the first step is to spend your time doing things you are interested in.
All other things being equal, who do you think will earn more money in the long run?
- The guy who shows up for work, doesn’t really care, and does the bare minimum to not get fired?
- The guy who shows up for work, pours his heart into it, and helps out his coworkers, all because he has a genuine interest in what he’s doing?
Who is more likely to have positive feedback during annual reviews? Who is more likely to get promoted? Who is more likely to network and be offered other higher paying opportunities?
Finding Your Passion
Let’s think of this phrase through the framework of what we’ve been discussing.
Finding your passion is not about spending your life finding THE ONE THING you want to do the rest of your life.
Finding your passion boils down to trying new things and figuring out what you enjoy doing enough to do it everyday.
Do you already have hobbies or interests you enjoy doing?
Then start exploring those and do some research into how to make a living from them. In the age of the internet, there are bound to be people you can talk to who turned the same interests you have into work they love.
And what if you want to try new things?
Some examples of new things you can try include:
- Cooking. Maybe learning to cook by watching instructional videos on YouTube sparks an interest in growing your own food and you decide to go work on an organic farm in Sweden where you meet the love of your life and you two decide to start your own farm in the hills of Greece.
- Coding Bootcamp. Maybe you finish the coding bootcamp and realize you don’t want to code but one of the friends you made throws an amazing business idea your way and asks you to come on board in a leadership role after seeing how well you handled the group projects.
- Painting Classes. Maybe you get so hooked on painting that it consumes your free time until a few years later when someone sees your art on Instagram and commissions you for a series of paintings.
- Dancing Classes. Maybe you realize you don’t like dancing but one of the friends you make in the class invites you to go surfing and you discover a love for marine biology which inspires you to go back to school.
The point is you don’t know where these things will end up before you start. And you don’t know who you’ll meet or what you’ll learn about yourself along the way.
And if you never try, how will you ever know?
In a Nutshell
A sense of purpose gives us fulfillment in life and a reason to get out of bed each day.
For many of us that purpose comes from the work we do everyday, whether that work is in an office, at a construction site, or at home raising children.
So, we shouldn’t simply look at work as a means to an end (a paycheck), but as something we can find meaning and satisfaction in.
If work is meant to provide you with purpose and meaning, it’s important to look for something that is engaging and interesting. Having an interest in what you do will then:
- make your life more interesting and enjoyable
- attract other interesting people who are passionate about their work
- and provide you with a source of income you can take pride and ownership in rather than a torturous chore you have to suffer through
And if you don’t know what you’re interested in, start taking advantage of the internet by exploring opportunities around you. Think about hobbies and interests you’ve wanted to try and see what types of classes or meet up groups are available in your area.
Finally, don’t try new things with the expectation that trying something new means you have to dedicate months or years to it. Try new things and focus on your sense of curiosity about them. Try new things with an open mind that the new thing might spark curiosity about something else or introduce you to someone who can change your life.