What To Do When You Only Have 24 Hours To Do It

“The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will.” — Chuck Palahniuk
M I S C H E L L E
M I S C H E L L E

Do what you love.

Everyone has 24 hours in their day.

This is not a secret. There is not a formula that will give you more or less hours in a day if you sacrifice a piece of your soul (at least I don’t think there is). Even Beyonce only has 24 hours in a day.

So the question is — what do you do with those 24 hours? This is a question that has been asked many times before. Some people choose to quit their day jobs and travel, or start their own business, or go skydiving. But that’s not what I’m here to talk about.

Some people, when presented with this question, come to the realization that if you only have 24 hours in a day, you might as well do whatever is going to make you the most money in the least amount of time possible (because after all, you only have 24 hours).

This doesn’t necessarily mean they are materialistic or have nothing but dollar signs in their eyes, it just means they want to make they most out of their time monetarily. They choose a major, and/or a career, that will give them the most amount of money for the hours they work. That way, even if they do end up working 10 hours a day, at least it’s paying off.

But that’s not how I approach the question.

If I only have 24 hours in a day to do something, then I want to do something I love.

It may not pay the most per hour, it may not pay off at all (although it most likely will in some way). As long as I enjoy what I’m doing with my time, as long as I’m learning and growing and finding the joy in what I do, then it’s worth doing.

For me, it applies to my career choice. As someone who studied English in undergrad, I never expected to make much money. You don’t become an English major if you hope to be driving a Rolls Royce when you’re thirty. You become an English major because you love words, or you love reading, or you love the process of putting words on a page or moving words around to find just the right order. You become an English major, and eventually pursue something in that field, because you genuinely enjoy it.

Since starting down my chosen career path, I’ve realized how much work it truly takes to find your footing, to build your foundation, to do something well and be the best you can be at what you’re doing. I typically work 8–9 hours a day, and then have at least 1–3 more hours of work to do when I get home. I’m not on the clock, I’m not getting paid for every single hour I pour over an article, but that doesn’t matter to me.

Most days, I don’t even realize hours have passed because I’m so involved in the work that I’m doing. That doesn’t necessarily mean that what I’m doing is so interesting, or that I’m in love with every small task I’m assigned. What it means is that I love the process, that I love learning, that I love what I’m doing and I love the fact that it’s shaping me to be even better in the future.

For some people, making the most money possible is important. But for me, as long as I’m able to pay my rent and live comfortably, I’m happy. Unless my boss is reading this, then I definitely hope to be driving a Rolls Royce when I’m thirty.

But in all honesty, I couldn’t do what I’m doing if I didn’t love it. I would be miserable if I was spending so many hours on something just to get a paycheck every two weeks, or just to say I had a job. But the fact that I love what I’m doing makes the work that I’m doing and the hours that I’m doing it more fulfilling than anything.

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