“The only way to do great work is to love what you do.”
~ Steve Jobs
It’s funny – I worked for the past 20 years to be sitting right here, doing the work that I do now, and I always believed I would love it. That I would be ultimately happy for the rest of my life. But I’m not. I’ve found that it leaves me unfulfilled. That it leaves this aching hole inside. That it leaves me feeling that I haven’t achieved my true purpose in life.
I’ve wondered why the change in perception.
The only answer I’ve come up with is that as we live our lives, we change. What we want – what we need – what makes us happy – all of it changes as we grow as individuals. Despite Steve Jobs’ opinion that great work can only result from loving what you do, I still hold the opinion that the work I do is in fact great.
It’s not like I slack off. I don’t cut corners. I continue to work out the grand scope of a project while keeping the details in mind. I don’t miss things. I truly believe that the work I produce is still a high quality.
But it doesn’t make me happy. I feel as though I’m stuck in a rut. That my life is meant to be so much more than a data analyst / project manager / operations manager. I’m working to change this, but as all writers find, it’s hard work. There is nothing easy about trying to become a paid author who makes enough to quit the day job.
Despite the difficulties, it does make me happy to write. It does bring joy to my life every time I finish a short story, and even if it takes the next few decades to achieve, I’m going to work my ass off.
How about you and your dreams? Are they worth it?