“I Wrote Down: Do What I Love”; or why you may not do what you love and where to start to do it for good.
“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”
“Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me… Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”
-Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
Why aren’t you already doing what you love? In fact if you are, it’s almost a miracle.
I see multiple forces against us on our journey to do what we love. Most of our societies’ systems are so we’re stuck working to support them, not necessary liking it. We can understand how this organization makes us go against our will with the “normal path” people take entering our Brave New World.
I don’t want to offend you. I want to liberate to take a path we love.
Do what I love at home?
At first, one has as model his parents. Most parents have high hopes for their offspring and if we’re lucky enough, parents can encourage us on a path we enjoy.
But even with their best intentions, parents are fruits of the society themselves. Even if when I’m young I swear to do what I love, our role models can push any tender one on a path they think will be successful, fulfill the dreams they had or think we’d be happier doing.
All our entourage can influence us, in a way that suits us, or not. From the start, we can be detracted by our almighty mentors from what we really wish to do. We can be kept away from leading the life we’d like (internal motivation) and have to enter the pre-existing mold (external motivation).
Do what I love at school: what-what-what?
We might be intact souls if born in the right family, but another major adversary can stand in our way: school. Until high school, if not more, our little selves can be overwhelmed.
Listening to our teachers, as we’re set to, we’re prepared to listen to our boss in a near future, or authority in general, passively (external motivation, again). Get in line, listen, be quiet, follow, do what they say. Granted, we learn the basics and get some attention, with an educational program by the government who, if you stick with my point, has an agenda. What we learn is really just that, basics, you can hardly follow your passions or learn other subjects on school time.
And Mondays through Fridays, with the schedule, we’re programmed for a daily job (don’t you dare not to stick with the program, be it ahead or behind) with some breaks, and if you can, activities afterwards. Being a good worker who follows rules or norms comes first. Passion, independence, understanding who you are, all needed to follow a path we love, aren’t really in the program. Also seen in school:
- Bullying by peers or fears of not-fitting, pear pressure policy. We are taught to fit in, listen to others to be cool. Definitively, not be our true self. Do you fear what others think? It’s ingrained early in our lives, Pavlov’s way.
- Brainwashing. This term can seem harsh. But “forgetting” with the program who we are and how we should be, as well as staying ignorant on many issues (learning only basics or unneeded information) are that.
- Ground to fit in. Again, we can become less than who we are so we “succeed”.
- Lead way. Instead of being in charge of our destiny, we follow the program to get us “somewhere”.
- Illusory choice. We have few options in most of our school years. Instead of creating ourselves a unique path, we figure out where we could fit in what is available and preexistent.
- Unnecessary stress. It’s when you finish school that you realize what was a big deal… wasn’t.
- Unrealistic socialization:
- Quasi non-existent true relationships with the rest of the society and teachers.
- And with same-aged peers. A few minutes a day, unsupervised for bullying, covered or not (we’re almost all have been victims and bullies in school).
Education is important, and I don’t blame teachers because generally we’re all just victims of the organization, but it’s the agenda and systems we should revolutionize. Instead of acting on external motivation (good grades, teacher’s attention, peer acceptance), it should be based on internal motivation (what you love, your talents, your drive).
I can really see a world where education is better, like just general acceptance of who everyone is and good mentors from all walks of life, driven by the internal motivation to learn.
School has so many problems that aren’t fixed yet that I’m heading for homeschooling, to encourage self-learning, close loving relationships and nurture passions, amongst others. From Penelope Trunk’s homeschooling blog, renown on career trends:
Now, I told my audience, homeschooling is going to revolutionize the workplace because we’ll have a generation of kids who can teach themselves anything and they will make Generation Y look like slow learners, and if you don’t get your kids out of the system that spoon-feeds them to merely test their ability to memorize, then your kids will not be able to compete with their homeschooled peers.
In our brought-up process, we’re generally left with average intelligence/ignorance so we buy the society’s program and perpetuate it. If you’re intelligent enough, you’re part of the elite, who perpetuates the program to stay we’re they are.
Tumbling on a career
After getting such a quality education, we should set off to work right? That’s what anyone should do, it’s “life”.
Our compass may be destructed to find the right career. We can become entangled in the path we were set on and stuck there. It’s worth mentioning too that at work, the same previous principles repeat and can keep us lost.
Working to support oneself is good, it’s being independent. But having fun is too – what’s left when you hate your life?
What we see today is working to perpetuate the systems that enslave us most of our time (when populations worldwide are stuck at work they dread to make it to another day, it’s modern slavery). And work environment is another place where we feel loyal to, even if we dislike it, as to:
- Support ourselves
- Be able to retire, and have fun at last
- Give a direction to our lives (if we’re working, we have purpose and are important, supposedly).
The question is, are we really working for the right reasons? It seems most of us work for superfluous matters, sold to us by societies’ norms through publicity and peer pressure such as:
- The latest car
- The Big House
- Expensive gifts and vacation (why do we need to get away from our lives so much?)
- Follow fashion in clothing, home design, latest gadgets
- Social standing
- And more of the American dream.
Do what I really love
But the truth is buried. What we really need, as stated by Abraham Maslow’s landmark research, is a decent shelter, food, loved ones or realization. Just a slight portion of the Dream, or more likely, a complete redefinition. Most of that don’t have to be expensive or time consuming!
We can accomplish what’s important for us if we do work we love. But the systems or elite don’t want that. They need us to work long hours sane and healthy enough, not too much, so:
- We don’t have the energy, health or will to challenge the established order
- We make them the authority
- We make them money
- It stays the same.
They have a whole system of protection (police, interests, politic) hardly listening to the population. They are mostly parasites and can even be obsolete.
Maybe it suits us, because we’re “taken care” of.
Instead of looking at social researches or even conspiracy theories for proof, time consuming, let’s look at what we can easily observe (as one of my sociology teachers told: “You can easily find truth with common sense observation”).
Fact: people aren’t really thriving in their existence. It’s worth mentioning that on Twitter this past Monday, a world trend was “I Hate Mondays”. And count people around you who are thrilled by what they do, in all aspect (health, time, schedule, tasks, etc.); I did it, confirmed with others, and they’re rare. Because during productive time, most of fellows don’t do what they really feel passion towards, because they feel imprisoned do to so to survive, because it seems we’re being played for a minority to enjoy their existence. Politics, corporate rights, all come before people’s wellbeing.
And that feels wrong, big time.
Freedom is a great illusion in our age – we are consciously or not playing others’ games. Most of us aren’t truly free; we give up our freedom, and dreams, for a complacent and unaware life. We just enjoy it a bit on our spare time, if we have any energy left, listening to commercial T.V. or buying unneeded stuff to keep the game going.
Can you see that too? I hope we can wake up and break free of this delusion massively.
Live every day to do what I love
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
- Martin Luther King Jr., I Have a Dream: Writings and Speeches That Changed the World
Why do I care to say all that? Because it feels right to denounce briefly (and maybe simplistically) what’s going wrong and oppressing millions, even if it’s all I achieve.
And because I care for you who wish to do what you love. I want to give your confidence back to be yourself and holding on to that with all your might. And I do what I love, sharing those lessons.
Do What You Love Journey blog exists to educate on ways to counter the disturbing society game. So we all play our own, based on our internal motivation, our love.
What matters is to enjoy our life our way, and it’s ok to do so. You want the right to do it? I would give it to you, but in the end we’re free and you’re your only authority, so you are the one granting it or refusing it. What do you choose?
A wise choice is to do what you love, as advised by successful people who are walking the path, my whole research, and other authors figuring we should do what we love like these ones on Harvard Business Review :
“You simply want to be doing something that you love, or something that is logically going to lead to something you love, in order to do your best work. That desire will make you more creative and more resourceful, and will help you get further faster”.
(More inspiration here, here and here.) Use what you like or dislike as cues to tell you what the next steps are, take on a part-time career or activity you love on the side, reduce your workweek, or whatever else that suits you.
If you look at your basic needs, you probably need to work way less than you do, so you can do what you love at least part time, or if you live in couple, so one of you can live a free lifestyle instead of dreaded work. And when you enjoy life, you can easily support temporary harsh conditions and work hard without being bothered. This leads to success.
Quitting the society games is where the magic does its trick. Where we reclaim our life and are free, instead of working for our greater ungood.
I wish you say too: “From now on, I will definitely do what I love, for good”. Resist, live consciously, follow your bliss, persist, have fun, and enjoy the harvest. Watch some of the naysayers adopt your path too – maybe it was just jealousy, they want the possibility to do what they like too!
No doubt, if it’s your first Do What I Love step, it’s hard. Don’t let cognitive dissonance, rejecting new ways because it’s not in your own belief system, win on you. At the least, you can take baby steps toward sovereignty. Then as they add on you realize you’re on your way to a lifestyle you love. Magical.
Take this step today. If you have already, hold on, it gets better (Steve Jobs’ wisdom).
Soon, you follow your own beat. You love everyday instead of dreading working hours. You are free. Unaffected by other criticism. You work for love of it. You collect precious moments everyday. Life can be hard, but to me it’s never as hard as working at something I hate. In fact, most of my life is an awesome melody.
The parts I like most are discoveries and seeing that what I do matters. In my game, love is number one. Living fully happens. Life wonders blossom. Here’s the magic. Want some?
Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t do what you love yet. Remember it’s a miracle with all we go through in our “advanced” societies. But the ones with regrets later are the ones who, not granting authority on their lives, do nothing to live their dreams. Write down somewhere this Do What I Love oath, or you’re own version of it:
The Do What I Love Pact
From now on, I’ll do what I love.
I understand most of the reasons I didn’t do what I love was out of my control, growing up.
But today, I’m conscious that I have the choice to follow my own dream path, and do what I love.
Making this important decision if the first step on my do what I love journey, but the most important one, because I go from the dream, to the reality.
I’ll do everything I can to do what I love and reach for my dreams, making sure to love every step of the way.
It could be a challenge, so I agree to continue no matter what, because the do what I love journey is bringing me alive, to live a great life.
Now to help you on the journey, you may start with these do what you love extracts from my book, starting from the bottom up.
“You can’t live your life for other people. You’ve got to do what’s right for you, even if it hurts some people you love.”
- Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook
“May you live every day of your life.”
- Jonathan Swift
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