Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Love the Job you Hate

It is a particularly first world, 21st Century notion that one should quit a job he hates, and pursue his dreams.  "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life," Confucius is supposed to have said.   Maybe one who lived in the 500 BCs could have conjectured a notion that would resonate so soundly with 21st century career focused men whose next meal is not in question.  Maybe.

There is a young man producing videos in which he talks about his life-threatening illness, and he finishes each inspirational video with all the confidence and cache of a man who knows everything, which is true of most young men in their twenties.  (It certainly was of me.  I wish you'd known me then - I had an answer for everything and didn't suffer fools.)

His advice in his popular YouTube videos (apparently even Ellen Degeneres has seen them!) is to do what you love, quit the job you hate, and eat dessert first.   I agree with at least one of those, and it isn't the dessert part.  I do think that, if we have the luxury, we should do do the things we love and enjoy as often as reasonably possible, if not for a living then for recreation and fun; not selfishly and never without consideration for our responsibility to each other and to God.

Doing the Things You Hate to Do
There is a particular strength of character that comes from facing down the challenges which most frighten us, annoy us, cause despair or that we just plain can't stand.  Seeing the task through, with all it's unpleasantness, is a life lesson learned in small chunks that prepares us for the big challenges in life.  It's even more enlightening to do it around people we don't like, or who can't stand us.

Embrace the unpleasant.  You just might find it ain't so bad after all.

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