"Do What You Love".
It’s been my mantra to my children, and myself, for as long as any of us care to remember. The other day, my daughter, who, along with her siblings, is the embodiment of this notion, tagged me on an article that slammed the idea of doing what you love as elitist.
Another lost and bitter soul, the author utterly misses the point of “Do What You Love” and “Love What You Do”. Both are about setting positive attitudes about a life that’s most likely going to be difficult and heartbreaking.
"Do What You Love" is about pursuing a dream relentlessly, it’s about passion. Its not about making money or careers - its about being true and honest about the things that really drive you. It’s about not giving in and not giving up. Sure, we all have to do things in life we don’t want to do. Whether it’s going to a crappy job every day to support your family, or changing a dirty diaper, or reading an inane internet article, life is full of difficult and unpleasant tasks. But whatever happens, don’t give up on the dream. Do What You Love! The only alternative is to not.
"Love What You Do", on the other hand, is all about attitude. You may not like your job, but by God, be the best at it. It’s a bit motivation, and a bit persuasion. Aristotle called it "Excellence", when we repeatedly do something to the best of our ability. Find the excellence and glory in whatever you do. It’s not about brainwashing yourself into believing that writing angry internet articles matters; it’s about making the conscious decision to work every day at being the best at whatever you do. Decide to Love What You Do. Choose excellence.
I will spend more time with myself in this lifetime than anyone else. Let me learn to be the kind of person I would like to have as a friend.
Man often becomes what he believes himself to be.
Writer’s block is a phony, made up, BS excuse for not doing your work.
Take it from Jerry Seinfeld. Other famous creators have articulated the same sentiment:
E.B. White: “A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper.”
Chuck Close: “Inspiration is for amateurs — the rest of us just show up and get to work.”
Tchaikovsky: “A self-respecting artist must not fold his hands on the pretext that he is not in the mood.”
Isabel Allende: “Show up, show up, show up, and after a while the muse shows up, too.”
Samuel Johnson: “Composition is for the most part an effort of slow diligence and steady perseverance, to which the mind is dragged by necessity or resolution.”
Still, should you find yourself creatively blocked, here’s some help.
A year from now you will wish you had started today.