Recently, I heard that there was a bit on CNN about what it means to love what you do. I guess at first, the answer would be quite easy, you love doing whatever you do. However, most people nowadays are working very hard at something that they don’t seem to enjoy. So now, a new question is raised, “How can you love what you do, and work hard at the same time? Logically, this would mean that you love working hard. Is it possible that this is the case?” So here is what I think about what the answer could be for this question.
First of all, I want to explain what it means to love what you do. Basically, you can do whatever you do every day, but you never get bored or tired of it. The reason for this is that you can do whatever it is you love and every day, you find out more about how you can do it better, and through that, you can find out how you can make yourself better. Every day, you find more joy in whatever you do and whatever you do becomes part of you. I like to use my piano playing as an example.
In the beginning, I hated to play piano. I was forced to practice, and to be honest, I would cry about having to practice for just 30 minutes. It was clear that at that time, I didn’t like playing piano at all. Well, if I didn’t like playing piano, why did I keep going? The only reason that I kept going, must have been because there was a little part of me that really thought that I could keep going, and that I had a true future as a musician. So I kept on toiling through hours of practice, learning new and complicated stuff, but I still didn’t find any enjoyment in playing that piano. That is until recently, when I really liked to play the piano. So much so, I couldn’t wait to practice it. I try to squeeze in time to do it every day, and some times I would practice so much that I would lose track of time. The question is, what happened to me that caused this change in mindset? Now, it must be that because of all the hard work, I became a master at what I did, and now it is easy enough so that I can dig deeper into the world of music like I never had before.
So how can you love hard work? The answer is, you really don’t. If you just work hard on something for no reason at all, there is no reason to enjoy doing whatever that is anyways because you are not getting anywhere. However, if you are working hard at something like piano, and you have a vision that someday, you will become great at the piano, then there is definitely a reason for you to work hard. And like I said, at the beginning, working hard at something really does suck, but if you do something enough, you will actually want to work hard at whatever you do, because you really truly enjoy doing it, and therefore working at it. So in the end, if you love what you do, it is easy to love working hard at it, because you are simply doing that thing, except taking it to the next level.
So where does this leave us? So many people end up doing something that they don’t like to do and they wish they were somewhere else. Here is my take on this. Everybody has some kind of dream, but they didn’t find motivation to carry it out. Also, maybe they started to pursue that dream, perhaps they tried to learn the piano or study engineering or something like that, but they were too lazy and decided to relax and give up, which meant that they lost their chance of ever pursuing that dream. So now, the really important thing is this: If you want to love what you do, you can’t just assume that you can do it for free. You have to work hard to get there, because now is not the time to relax. But if you are diligent and motivated, you will be able to do what you love in no time, and after that, you won’t need to love working hard, because you will probably be so good at what you do so that you don’t need to work hard at it anyways, because it has become part of who you are.