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It feels good to love what you do.
For an athlete, waking up in the pre-dawn hours to start their training isn’t always a breeze. They still roll out of bed because they love what they do. They feel excited when they enter the gym, step onto the track, or climb into the pool.
If you love what you do, you won't always wake up with a smile (no one does every day), but you will look forward to starting your day.
Finding a dream job that has you jumping out of bed each morning makes all the difference. You don't dread your tasks or daydream about escaping. The work you’re doing has you completely engaged and immersed.
Maybe it's what you’ve dreamed of achieving or maybe it's a surprise to you that you find it so compelling. Either way, you’re excited to start.
But finding those dream jobs and great work opportunities doesn't come without any effort.
How does it feel to love what you do?
We all know what it's like not to love what you do. That feeling of dread when you're starting work makes it tough to spend full-time hours on something you don't care about.
But that feeling where you think, "Ah, I love what I do," changes your entire outlook on work. Your work-life balance is balanced, not crooked. You work hard, and you know it has a significant meaning.
Your energy becomes magnetic when you love what you do. You attract like-minded individuals who share your passion for hard work and an excellent work-life balance.
When you can be passionate about what you do, you're showing people the rewards for chasing after their dreams. In people's lives, you're a positive role model. Never forget that your passion and drive are infectious.
Doing what you love is even good for your physical health. Studies have found that when you engage in leisure activities, like doing things you love, you experience less stress and have a lower resting heart rate.
It helps instill some calm throughout your body. Not to mention it injects more positive thoughts into your mind and helps to banish negative ones.
At BetterUp, our coaches can help you discover what you love to do in life. Check us out if you want to learn more about transforming your work into something you love.
Reasons to do what you love
You deserve to do things in life that you love, period. Think about it the other way: why should you only do things that don't make you feel passionate, interested, or fulfilled? A meaningful life oozes passion, values, and love.
If you need any more reasons to pursue what you love, here are five to review:
- You'll be more fulfilled in your personal and professional life because you're pursuing your passions
- You'll be more productive with your work since 13% of happy workers are more productive
- You'll serve as a positive role model because people will feel inspired by your hard work and values
- You'll be more open to learning new things because you'll want to expand your knowledge and skills
- You'll spend less time procrastinating because when you do what you enjoy, work of any kind doesn't feel like a chore
Learning how to find the things you love to do
What do you love? It's a simple but thoughtful question, but learning how to find what you like takes effort. To experience the kind of love we're describing, you need to dig deep.
Don't be afraid to spend time doing some research to get ideas about the types of things you love to do. But don't just do research — reading, thinking, and talking only get you so far.
Here are eight tasks to help you when you learn how to figure out what you love to do:
1. Read new books or articles about people who have found their passions
Perhaps their passions aren't the same as yours, but you'll pick up new strategies and tips along the way. Reading other people's stories is also a source of inspiration for you to continue on your own journey.
2. Get career advice from entrepreneurs and other occupations about their journeys
Listening to career advice might point you in a direction you never thought of before. Soaking up the expert advice will also help build your confidence and empower you to make moves with your career path.
3. Listen to podcasts about motivation while you're exercising or traveling
Some days you need a little extra motivation to put a spring in your step. While you're doing activities like exercising, commuting, or even cleaning, put on a podcast that makes you feel energized to take action.
4. Follow social media accounts that post about following your dreams (like BetterUp's)
If you spend a fair amount of time scrolling through social media posts, why not scroll through ones that empower you to follow your dreams? The more you read posts about finding your purpose or meaning in life, the more you'll be focused on working toward achieving it. Surrounding yourself with motivation and positivity will only encourage a growth mindset.
5. Save money where you can so that you can focus on your passions
Finding what you love to do might have a price tag attached to it, so saving money will help with that. It'll also teach you how to budget your finances and be more intentional with your paychecks.
6. Write down a list of your strengths, refer to it often (and never forget them)
Writing down and reviewing your strengths will remind you of what you're great at. Knowing your strengths will help uplift you after a bad day and reassure you that you're capable of achieving your goals.
7. Think about what you wanted to be as a child
You might have flip-flopped between a few different future career aspirations as a child. But go back and think hard about why you thought of those possible careers in the first place. It'll give you insight into your interests and remind you of your first loves.
8. Make a list of your dislikes
Just as it's valuable to know what you like, the same goes for your dislikes. It helps you cross off possible passions and narrow down your list. Knowing what you don't like also saves your energy for pursuing your passions and finding what you love.
Do you always have to love what you do?
Not every moment of your life will be exciting and full of meaning. You won't do every task with a big smile on your face, but that's OK. Life isn't sunshine and roses all the time. All paths have good and bad moments. And pursuing your passions won't always be easy.
You'll sometimes feel confused and frustrated as you journey toward finding what you love. Or maybe you'll find what you love to do, but it doesn't pay the bills. So, you won't be able to devote as much time to it as you'd like.
You'll encounter three key work orientations, too. A job, career, and calling orientation will provide you with different experiences while finding what you love to do.
But none of them are necessarily wrong or right, because there aren't any right answers on this journey of yours. Maybe your job doesn't fulfill you entirely, but it still provides some joy. Or, your career path could be full of hard work to earn promotions, but it doesn't fulfill you.
This journey isn't linear, just like many other things in life. It's full of ups and downs, but your resilient mindset and hard work will still teach you things along the way and help you find passion.
8 ways to love what you do
You make choices every day. Some of those choices lead you to love what you do, while others don't. Here are six habits you can use to work towards loving your work and enriching your life:
1. Pay attention to the details
It's nice to have big ideas and visions of how you want your life to look, but when you love what you do, the more minor details are more meaningful.
Focusing on the details requires putting extra effort into what you're doing. Entrepreneurs know that rather than being careless, they need to be intentional and think each element of their work through. It's done with love, even though it might mean spending more time on each task.
2. Bring all of your energy
Have you ever looked at someone and wondered where they get all of their energy from? Here's a hint: It involves passion and love for their work. When you're working on a project that excites you, your energy is a dead giveaway. Working your dream job full-time will elevate your energy and encourage others to do the same.
Next time you start a project that makes you excited to get to work, don't let anyone tell you to take it easy. Accept yourself and your energy for what it is rather than being bashful about it.
3. Take some risks
Trying new things is how we discover what we love. Before trying them, you didn’t know your favorite foods, so apply this approach to new jobs. A change is good, even if it scares you a bit. Too much fear can keep you stagnant, and it hinders your growth.
If you have a particular job or industry you want to work in, try connecting with people in that industry for career advice. Cruise around LinkedIn for a co-founder of a business you admire or any other successful person and ask if they have any tips. If they're passionate about what they do, rest assured, they love to talk about it.
4. Appreciate your mistakes
Making mistakes can be frustrating, annoying, and disheartening. But when you view them as learning opportunities, they can do much more good than bad for your well-being.
Your mistakes are pockets of information and great learning opportunities. They can tell you what strategies don't work and give you clues as to what might be best for you. You can be upset with yourself for making those mistakes, but you'll need to move past them to develop your career.
5. Strategize wisely
You want your actions to mean something. Entrepreneurs launch their startups after putting a lot of thought into them. To do great work, you need a solid plan.
Think about all the factors you need to align to accomplish your goals. Sit down and write them out step by step. If you want a better online presence, ask yourself which social media platforms will do that for you. Then, research any tools that help with social media posting so you can plan your strategy thoughtfully.
6. Keep your habits and goals sustainable
While on the road to loving what you do, you need to be honest with yourself. If your to-do list is unattainable, you won't feel productive or admire what you're accomplishing. Habits and goals fit into people's lives in different ways.
Some personal goals are more attainable in the time frame you're hoping for than others. Think about what realistic goals you can start implementing without stressing yourself out.
If you want to read a new book each week but find that's not enough time, switch it to a new one every month. Doing what you like needs to be sustainable or else it'll be short-lived, and that's not what you're setting out to achieve. Sustainable goals are easier to meet, and meeting our goals motivates us to achieve more.
7. Make your work environment enjoyable
A work environment you feel passionate about and motivated to contribute to will help make your life meaningful. Waking up to go to work in the morning will be exciting, and you'll feel rewarded after doing some good work. Do your best to have perspective with your work.
Think about the impact your efforts will have on others. Make friends at work so you have someone you like to chat with over lunch. Whatever makes you feel excited to sit at your computer (in the office or at home) matters.
8. Be in the present
When you do what you like and like what you do, you want to experience it fully. Make sure to enjoy your time. Relish in your accomplishments, and be proud of yourself. The more you appreciate what you're doing, the more you'll love it.
You do this by staying in the present. Of course, you can still set long-term goals and think about the future, but don't forget to savor what you're currently experiencing.
In need of inspiration?
Looking for wise words from people who have experienced what you're working toward achieving? Check out these three quotes for some inspiration on how to love what you do and do what you love:
"Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do."
"There comes a time when you ought to start doing what you want. Take a job that you love. You will jump out of bed in the morning. I think you are out of your mind if you keep taking jobs that you don't like because you think it will look good on your resume. Isn't that a little like saving up sex for your old age?"
"I think the foremost quality — there's no success without it — is really loving what you do. If you love it, you do it well, and there's no success if you don't do well with what you're working at."
Get help along the way
Don't feel like you need to go it alone: figuring out how to love what you do isn't always a simple task. Get help along the way, from determining what you love to do to making it the center of your life.
A BetterUp coach will open your eyes to a new way of living filled with empowerment so you can do more of what you love. There's no time like the present to start experiencing what expert coaching can do to your life.