It starts with the incessant beeping of the alarm. You wake up and rub the sleep from stressed eyes. You gird yourself up. Eventually, you get into your car and cut an unfulfilled path to a job you don’t love. You while away the hours at your desk and then come back home. Rinse and repeat.
But what’s missing is inner fire. Passion; love for what you do. It’s painful being in a job you don’t love. It deadens the heart. Your mind loses its edge. And that turns you from a creator, from someone living and experiencing life to fullest, to an automaton going through the motions. Routine tasks are but a temporary painkiller.
Now imagine being in a job you love. Your head exploding with ideas, your soul bursting with the desire to make a difference and every fibre of your being straining to accomplish something. That’s why they say that if you love your job, you’ll never work a day in your life.
But how do you find a job you love? It seems largely a matter of chance and circumstance. You’re hoping that a job turns out the way you envision. The journey might be nice, but you’re just along for the ride and not in the driver’s seat.
Instead of loving our jobs, what if we decided to switch things around? What if we started out by investigating and exploring our passions? What if we took our hobbies, fields of study that intrigued us, and then found a way of turning that into a career? Imagine the sensation of fulfilment, creativity, of joyous impulse that you find in the perfect job. But this time, it’s your plan and you’re creating it yourself.
All this mental imagery can be compressed into a simple sentence. Don’t love your job. Job your love.
This goes contrary to what experts will tell you. Flip through a magazine or attend a forum. All the mentors will be asking you to start with a market opportunity and then seek to fill it.
I disagree. Turn it around.
First find what you’re passionate about, and then see how you can create your own opportunities. Along the way, you might even have to create your own market, your own movement and your own followers.
Think of the most successful entrepreneurs and that’s what they did. Bill Gates didn’t fulfil a market opportunity. Instead, he introduced new ways of working with technology to the world. Steve Jobs didn’t start by trying to find a commercial opportunity. He prized creativity and crafted impeccable devices that made their own market, and revolutionised smartphones along the way. Elon Musk is single-handedly pulling electric vehicles into the mainstream – a market that didn’t exist ten years ago.
The one thing these titans of creativity all have in common is that they followed their passion. They jobbed their love.
These stories inspire us. They certainly inspired me. When I was a pilot for Emirates Airlines, I was comfortable. I liked soaring through the skies. But piloting was a job, and I wasn’t jobbing my love.
It was this realisation that led me to embark on an adventure that is growing every day. But more importantly, I wake up every morning energised and determined to live life to the fullest, and challenge the status quo with fierce joy.
The wonderful thing about this sort of joy is that it is contagious. It breeds more joy, and you find yourself surrounded by like-minded people. And strangely, business success and revenue are often accidental by-products.
I’ll leave you with a parting thought. I believe that every one of us is solely responsible for giving meaning to life, and living it passionately, sincerely and authentically – in a way that brings joy to oneself and to others.
I’ve found my path. Where will yours take you?