Katie Whitsed | 98five blogger
Most people at some point or another have heard the phrase: If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.
I used to believe in this concept, and was so thankful when I fell into studying a field I am so passionate about, at such a young age. What a blessing that was. I think it’s so important to ensure you’re spending your time and energy on things you are passionate about, things that inspire you, and things that give you meaning and purpose. But, here is why I do not believe in the idea that if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life…
I think this frame of mind is feeding into a perception that life should be a breeze, a walk in the park, and you shouldn’t need to work hard… ever. I don’t believe that is an accurate or healthy way to think. The more experience I get with working and living, the more I realise no matter how much I love what I do, it’s always going to take hard work to get to where I’m going, to achieve my goals, and to grow. Yes, of course I can be happy and full of joy along the way, but it still takes work, and doing things you might not want to do.
I studied for five years on top of my schooling, and I’ve spent the last two and half as an occupational therapist.
I love what I do.
I love that every day I go into work my job is to work with people who are not exactly where they want to be in life, and help them to get there. There’s something in their way, whether that be a disease, a disability, an illness, or an injury, that makes life that bit more difficult for them to do what they want and need to do every day. My job is to help my clients set goals, and get there. I love that.
My career feeds into my passions, it inspires me, and it aligns with all my core values in life, but I work really hard at what I do. Every day has challenges and struggles I have to navigate, professionally and personally. There is never a day that goes by where I don’t feel I need to work at it. I know there are things I am really good at, but there are always things I feel I don’t do very well, things I need to improve on, things I don’t know. Always! And I make mistakes. Often.
However, just because I love my job, does not mean I don’t have days where I feel like giving up. I often have days where I question what I am doing, whether it’s the right choice, and wonder what I am going to do next. I wonder if I had chosen a different career path, would I love it just as much, maybe more, or maybe less? I wonder about the things I could do to help me love what I do, more. But then I think, I do love what I do, and what I’m actually trying to navigate through, is the work!
I believe the philosophy, ‘if I love what I do, I will never work a day in my life’ would limit my potential. As well as aiming for an unattainable reality.
Because I’d be constantly looking for doing what I love, without the hard work that needs to go in. It would mean I am staying within the walls of my comfort zone, what I know and can do well, and not pushing or challenging myself. Work is not something to be avoided, and it’s also not something that always needs to have a negative connotation to it. That’s the space where the most amazing transformations and successes come out of. That space of real, authentic, genuine hard work. Combine that with passion and loving what you do, and I think that’s the space for miracles. That’s the space to aim for.
Nobody said it would be easy, they just promised it would be worth it.
Loving what you do, doesn’t mean you’ll never work a day in your life, it means it will all be worth it.
Life takes work. It’s challenging. It tests us. You don’t need to ‘find something you love more’, for the difficulty/struggle/challenge/discomfort to disappear. Quite the opposite might be true. The more passionate you are about something, the more driven you are to succeed, the more work it may take.
One joy I am certain of, I am so thankful that my fulfilment and hope comes from God, because no matter what happens, I can come home at the end of the day with a confident hope that my life is in the hands of someone greater, more loving and more powerful than I could ever imagine. Someone who cares for me.
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1
As long as I am loving God, and loving other people, there is nothing else that I am solely responsible for, the burdens are not mine to carry. Above all, that is the greatest joy.
Now everyone’s opinion is different, this is just a small opinion in a big ocean, but I think it’s important to firstly discover and know what you believe, and to live in that every day, with boldness and confidence.
Secondly, to find something you love, something that aligns with your values and something you are truly passionate about.
And thirdly, remember you need to take the work that comes with it. The challenges, the disappointments, the discomforts, the frustrations, the loneliness, the heartache, the ‘whys?’.
Because life was never intended to be easy, but we are promised that it will always be worth it.
Katie believes in dreaming fearlessly and has a deep passion for seeing other people experience joy and stepping into living their best lives. Her love of writing and self-expression inspired her to create a blog as an avenue for sharing her journey in choosing joy. The kind of joy that makes you smile for no reason at all, the kind you don’t have words for — Joy unspeakable. heartfeltjoy.com | Follow Katie on Facebook | Instagram