Do We Have The Right To Do The Work We Love?

It’s a (seductive) movement.

My Facebook news feed is cluttered with ads from life coaches, consultants, and online entrepreneurs, and they all seem to be saying the same thing.

“Do what fulfills you!”

“Do the work you love!”

“Turn your passion to profit! For only three payments of…”

Those are seductive ideas, especially if you’re currently doing things that aren’t fulfilling, that you don’t love, and that you’re not passionate about.

Honestly, I don’t have a problem with most of the people selling those ideas. Though misguided, most mean well.

 

But the idea itself…

The ideas aren’t the truth. The truth is different.

Ideally, we’d all be doing the things we love 100% of the time. We’d be focused only on the things that fulfill us. And in the most ideal world, everything we’re passionate about would be profitable.

But it’s nearly impossible to do the things we love 100% of the time while fulfilling all of our societal and familial responsibilities. It’s nearly impossible to do only things that fulfill us and remain productive. And it’s nearly impossible to profit off of everything we’re passionate about.

Most importantly, it’s nearly impossible to do all three at once.

Don’t get confused by what these dream peddlers are selling you: fulfillment is not a right, passion is not a right, and profit isn’t a right either.

They’re all privileges.

 

Fulfillment, passion, and profits aren’t rights.

They’re privileges that everyone should be able to have, like ice cream.

My family would be in an entirely different place if my great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather was more concerned about following his passion than he was about surviving the Black Plague. My life would be entirely different if my grandfather didn’t slave away day after day in the Philippines to support my mother–and the rest of his children–so that she could get an education and come to the United States.

My world would look insanely different if my own father opted to build puzzles and play pool instead of bootstrapping his way into the top of his industry.

We forget how privileged we are to even think about “following our passion” without the threat of a bomb destroying our entire neighborhood, gang members stealing our kids, or having to leave our homes because other people have turned it into a war zone.

Yes, everyone should have the privilege of doing what they love. Have a go at it. Pursue it aggressively.

Just understand that if it doesn’t work out, it’s ok.

You had a shot, and that’s many times more than what most people have.