Do what you love or love what you do? This may sound like the same thing to many people, but for me, the two are quite different. As a millennial, for years I have been bombarded with messages like ‘find your true calling’,’figure out the one thing you are really passionate about and do that’, ‘do what you love and you don’t have to work a day in your love’…This is all well and good if you do have that one passion, but what happens if you are interested in many things or you haven’t yet found the ‘one’ and maybe never will? Well, then
you are destined to a life of misery and unfulfillment you need to start urgently trying to figure out your life purpose!
This is why the notion of ‘love what you do’ appeals to me. Not always I can only do the things that I love doing (
hello toilet cleaning brush!), and learning to love whatever I am doing sounds a lot more liberating! Of course, this is an exaggeration – there are things in life that we can’t learn to love and just have to accept. However, generally a lot of the stuff we tend to dread, complain about and resent we can change our perspective on and think differently about. If whatever you do, you do as best as you can, bring your whole self to the process and enjoy it – you will love it! And if you love it, you will likely succeed in it. And even if you don’t at least you had fun doing it.
What do I mean by that?
Let’s take cooking dinner as an example. I may be a person whose life passion is cooking – then this is likely to be one of my favourite things to do. But if I am not – I may either choose to approach the process hurrying, quickly throwing things together to just get it over and done with, possibly even resenting it as I have done plenty of times. At the same time, I may choose to be fully present in the process- wash all my veggies with care, chop them up feeling grateful for the beautiful food I am going to have tonight and cook it pouring my love into it. Both approaches take me the same time but the result is so different! It’s all in the attitude.
I notice when I do that with anything, I receive so much more joy from the process and quite often a lot more recognition – it’s probably down to the energy that I do it with. I may cook the same dish, but my fiance would not stop saying how delicious the meal is, or I will do something at work that I have done so many times before, but this time people would really appreciate and thank me for it.
This is all simple in theory, but in reality, this presence stuff is hard. This is why I felt the need to write about it -first and foremost as a reminder for myself to practise it every day
or at least whenever I remember! These days benefits of mindfulness, staying present, enjoying the moment are the topics discussed everywhere. But even years of knowing about it and working on it I still find it challenging! I am not going to give up my daily life and meditate for days or move to Tibet to become a monk.
I do the best I can in my busy, sometimes hectic life. There are days when I had a bad sleep, tough day at work, got stuck in traffic and cooking dinner with presence and love is the last thing I think about. I feel frustrated, resentful and anxious and finding that place of gratitude and love requires an awareness that I don’t always find in those moments. But I don’t give up and sooner or later I find it again. And it’s so worth it when I do, as for me it’s not about only doing what I love, but learning to do everything with love and my whole heart and presence.