How to Love What You Do in a Career
You are in control of whether or not you love Mondays and whether or not you want to do something about them.
When I was growing up, I wanted to be a baseball player. Problem was, I wasn’t good enough to make it to the Major Leagues. But, that didn’t derail my dreams until high school ended (it could be partly because of a girl, but mostly it’s because I wasn’t that good).
Why did I want to be a baseball player? I loved the game. I loved every part of it. I loved the practices, the grass, the cloud of dirt that would come off the stirrups when you would take them off, the gum and sunflower seeds, and the hustle and grit of the sport. I loved the data, the professionals and the autographs.
I loved it, therefore, I loved doing it, thinking about it and improving at it.
When the baseball dream was put to bed, I shifted my focus to wanting to be a sports writer. I figured this was the next best thing – and would give me the chance to be front and center with the best in the game. I loved the art of the interview and the science of the story. Plenty of people told me I wasn’t good enough, but I still pushed forward. I loved what I did.
I then loved being a music journalist – writing about music for my own magazine and covering the entertainment industry for a small daily newspaper in Chicago. Until I didn’t.
I woke up after a weekend and hated Monday. It was the first time I hated Monday. It was the last time I would work at a newspaper. It was also the last time, I committed, I would hate Mondays.
Mondays feel like any other day when you love what you do. When I wanted to be a baseball player, Monday was another opportunity to play catch. When I enjoyed the newspaper job, Mondays were exciting because it meant new assignments.
In this short life, we are in control of few things. Our decisions and risks are among them. You are in control of whether or not you love Mondays and whether or not you want to do something about them.
Now, I am not advocating for being dumb – meaning, don’t just quit your day job without another job because you hate Monday. What I am suggesting is that you find a way to love what you do or find something new. I am also not suggesting you throw away the skills you have spent time and energy building up. I still love watching the Cubs (my sons' middle names are Wrigley and Field). Writing, clearly, is still a part of my DNA. But, I absolutely love what I do.
What would happen if Mondays felt like Saturdays – or vice-versa? We would approach our careers much differently, that’s for sure. And if we approached our careers differently, the trickle down is that we will enjoy our lives so much more. That, to me is succeeding. When you love what you do and do what you love every part of your day, week, month, year – happiness is achievable.