The constant motto when people graduate college or the whispers over the years from concerned parents is "Do what you love!" Well, let us just put it out there - that is wrong! Do what you love is such a generic phrase it nearly applies to all situations and to pin that upon one of the most critical parts of your life - career choice - let us just say is not a wise decision. Why don't people say "Do what you are good at"? Does it sound corny or mean spirited? I don't believe so and I believe it offers a great deal more benefit. Doing something you love is everyone's dream, including mine. I would have loved to fly planes, be a Navy Seal, or even at times think I should be in the Peace Corp (I know conflicting but let it go). But do those align with my skills and gifts - maybe somewhat, maybe not at all depending upon whom you are asking. The fundamental truth is that people should not do what they love; they should do what they are good at. And when they do, they find that they are happier.
WHY? I get asked all the time...why would someone not do what they love. I never said that, it just happens to be that people tend to love things that they are not very good at. Things that make them less capable of making a living, raising a family and having a retirement. I know it sounds cynical, but that is not the point. The point is to make your life happier and how best to do that. Success breeds better feelings, period end of story. So how better to reach success than to do something you are good at. Sounds simple, but how many people you know actually do that? They chase dreams of the perfect job, the career that is what they love and changes the world at the same time - while also making a wonderful pile of money. Let us move beyond dreams and focus on what is truly important - the use of the skills in which God has granted us and how to apply them to the world.
So how do we align the stars? Begin by simply looking at what you do every day and what people say you are good at. People compliment others a great deal, but few people take notice. Our focus is always to remember the bad and forget the good. So take a look at what people say you do well all the time. If it is communications or being calm under pressure, those specific skills directly correlate to jobs that are in the marketplace. Look at who you are and then you can determine what you do. Remember the two are not the same (never mistake what you do for who you are) and that contributes to a great deal of the confusion we are discussing. People think that if the role they play is not important or less important than someone else's, they are therefore less important. Wrong again. Someone's worth is not measured by their role; but who they are - so never confuse the two.
In closing, listen. Listen to yourself, to others (people that truly care), and be open minded. Most people do things for a living they never could have dreamed of. Trust me, I am one of those people. As I sit here now, never did I think I would be writing blogs and running an IT company. Never crossed my mind one time! So be fluid, remain calm, and do what comes naturally. You will be happier, you will see success, and you will live longer.
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