Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Confucius Says...Choose a Job You Love

"Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life." - Confucius

I disagree.

In concept and philosophically, I get what the old guy is saying, but I think regardless of what you do, hard work is important and sometimes it will feel like "work" even if you absolutely love what you do.

Certainly there are times that even with an ideal job, you have to push yourself to take care of what needs to be taken care of. It might be a task that you don't like to do, or a difficult situation or person that you have to deal with, but it definitely feels like "work" at that point.

A successful entrepreneur recently told me that there are a lot of days when he'd prefer to sleep in, but his success is based on hard work and dedication. I'm sure at 5:15am, it definitely feels like work to him, especially when compared with sleeping in. Although he loves what he does, there are definitely times that it is "work".

Personally, I would interpret Confucius' statement above to be more along the lines of "if you have a job that you love, you're less likely to get that helpless, boxed in, or desperate feeling".

To modernize his statement a bit, I would say something like -

"Choose a job you love, and you will never have to:
  • Sit in your car before work dreading the day until the last possible minute before going in
  • Call your mom on your lunch break to complain about how much you hate your job
  • Ask yourself why you spend so much time commuting in traffic
  • Write "it's not that bad" over and over to convince yourself to stick it out
  • Pretend that you're working even though you're g-chatting your friends, playing Scrabulous, and surfing the web all day
  • Sit in the bathroom with your head in your hands just to get away from it all
  • Stare at your cubicle walls wondering what happened to your hopes and dreams"
Have you found yourself feeling this way recently? Maybe it's time to find a job you love; just be aware that it won't always be a walk in the park. Everything worthwhile requires some degree of work. But at least the payout won't leave you feeling frustrated or ready to go postal.
  • What do you think?


Ryan Boston said...

Obviously you haven't found a job that you love yet.......Speak for yourself!

Anonymous said...

I do not think that Confucius ever said something along the lines of "Choose a Job you love" I can not imagine that people in Ancient China already had "jobs to speak of". The Chinese believed that everything has its place under heaven. I guess we will never know what Confucius really said about work, that is a real expression of who we are, because that is what I think that is meant. The rest is lost in translation and culture.

Anonymous said...

I think, it's a simple interpretation of doing a job you love and loving the job you do. This way, it doesn't 'feel' like a job. You can't take philosophers literally!

goldeneye said...

I agree with Ryan Boston's comment: "Obviously you haven't found a job that you love yet."

Besides the quote by Confucius isn't meant to be taken in a literal sense, as I just noticed another Anonymous commenter said.

Anonymous said...

I can do what I love endlessly, tirelessly and it is simply fun for me, not work I don't care if I get paid or not as long as I have enough to have a normal life.

Each minute I spend doing something I dislike is an eternity to me, and every million dollars I would get for that minute of work is and will still be underpayment since a million dollars for an eternity of work IS UNDERPAYMENT!

I think I proven my point :)