This quote comes from Confucius. For those in the crowd who don’t know his historical significance (don’t worry, I didn’t remember either), Confucius, a Chinese teacher and philosopher, was a brilliant leader whose words still make an impact 2,500 years later. Many quotes from his work are now shared to gain followers on social media. I am sure he would be very proud. On a serious note, Confucius influenced an entire way of life (Confucianism) and made an impact on hundreds of millions, if not billions.
We live in a much different world than what existed in 500BC, but many people tend to believe this quote has always been, and remains to be true. In my article Why Passion Makes Work Harder, I covered why doing work you’re passionate about is not a walk in the park. You don’t half-ass things you love -- you work hard, long hours, and usually at a very high and efficient level. Although the joy of the work distracts from some of the negative aspects of ‘work,’ it still takes your time and energy and is done for money.
In addition to a job you love not being work, I disagree with Confucius’ assessment of a job bringing us happiness. Stating that choosing a job you love will result in never ‘working’ a day is completely false because jobs are much different than an occupation that we’re passionate about.
Your occupation, or the focus of your work, should come from your passion. It’s your passion that drives your work input and output. If you hate being a doctor, you’re probably not going to perform the best surgeries (sorry for the grim example).
Being extremely passionate about finance could make you an excellent accountant, but whether you are happy or not working at Pocket Protector Finance Corporation doesn’t depend on whether you are interested in the nature of your work or not. If you love finance, you can start your own company, consult other firms, and yes, be very happy even at Pocket Protector Finance Corporation if the company and position align with your wants and needs in a job.
Happiness within a specific job is determined by you, your surroundings, pay, emotional well-being and other factors. This includes relationships with co-workers, bosses and the commpany. Just because you can’t stand your job due to a difficult boss, it doesn’t mean you don’t love the type of work you’re doing.
I recently made one of the toughest decisions in my life – to leave a job where the focus, people I helped, and general nature of it was everything I ever wanted. I was passionate about the work we were doing, but I let the ‘job’ get the best of me. I no longer loved the position, but my passion for the focus of the work never left.
I never knew I could love the nature of my work so much while feeling beaten up and discouraged on a daily basis by the job. Maybe I just needed a change. I’m not the only one who gets burned out due to an environment or employer that has nothing to do with the occupation. After all, there’s a reason the average worker stays in a job just 4.4 years.
What do you think? Am I on to something here or just nitpicking on the words that Confucius used to get across the point that the enjoyment from pursuing your passion will make work seem like play?
I hope Confucius doesn’t mind, but I decided to reword his words of wisdom. “Follow your passion and the days of your work will enhance the change you make in the world, and your enjoyment of it.”
Tomorrow’s Post: How Being Stubborn Can Ruin Your Business
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Michael Luchies is the Founder of TrepRep, Director of Content Programming for Pursuit, Interview Editor for Under30CEO, Entrepreneurship Lecturer at Illinois State University, TEW 2 contributor, and writer of all things entrepreneurship. Connect with Michael on Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.