The other day I heard a comment between two people discussing their jobs. The comment was, “Yeah man, that’s what your 20’s -30’s are for – you work not so good jobs and pay your dues.” This comment both shocked me and didn’t at the same time. What did I expect? We live in a world that is so often driven by material items, getting ahead, and making it big – how many people actually do what they love? I started to think about the type of life I want to live. When I graduated college I promised myself I’d never be one of those people who takes an office job they hate, gets stuck in a cubicle, and becomes victim to the monotonous cycle of the corporate world. I needed more. I craved more.
Why I craved more I’ll never know. Maybe it’s because I’ve read hundreds and hundreds of books that spoke of adventure and uncertainty. Maybe it’s because I had influential teachers or positive role models that I overlooked growing up. Perhaps we all crave more but some people are better at burying these feelings. Whatever the case, I craved a meaningful life where I could always do what I love, and that’s when I discovered…
Happiness is a choice.
I took a class once where the professor stood at the front and said, “Everyone who thinks your job should be something you love stand on the left. Now everyone who thinks their job should be something that gives you security stand on the right.” This was a exercise of absolutes. We could not stand in the middle or slightly to one side – it was all or nothing. I chose the left. People often tell me that you have to work jobs that give you security over jobs that give you happiness. Yet what if we all adopted this mind frame that says, “my work is not solely for me, and never will be”. What if, with each job we took, we had this dream, perhaps unrealistic at moments, that “my work will inspire others and better their lives in some way.” It’s time we began to realize that the purpose of our work isn’t to solely provide us with stability, but is to provide us with enough stability to continue to do the work we love.
We hide who we are or what we want to do in this corner of our room simply because we are too timid to stand up and profess that we want to do what we love. Be brave. Take the risks and step into the unknown because it will be satisfying when you finally discover what it’s like to wake up and find happiness in your actions each day. And so to that person who said your twenties are for paying our dues, I say to you we must agree to disagree. Our twenties are for doing what we love… And so our our thirties, forties, fifties, etc. Our life is for doing what we love.