People often throw about the quote by the Chinese philosopher, Confucius: “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
While the idea behind this seems like it should ring true, the reality is sometimes very different. This quote makes people forget the process of finding that job they love. And that’s exactly the point, we have to find these jobs, we are often not in a position to choose them.
No one has immediately fallen into his or her dream job; it is often a struggle, an uphill climb.
We have to paddle through dull, mind-numbing and depressing tasks as part of the profession we love. Think of an athlete. They have trained their entire lives to make it to the Olympics. Do you think they didn’t miss crazy nights out, suffer from broken bones and despair every time they couldn’t beat their own record time? No. They toiled and groaned, and that’s the same with all of us. Because every single job has (metaphorical) broken bones.
This perpetual search for the perfect job (graduates, I’m thinking of you) has left us disconcerted and threatened by the prospect of true graft. But ladies and gentlemen, you’re not going to succeed without failing a few times.
When Confucius said, “You will never have to work a day in your life,” he was, to my mind, completely wrong. He should have said “Choose a job you love, and the endless work will be worth it.”