August 15, 2020
How to Do What You Love is a goal for most people. Many of us just have a job and earn a paycheck but we do not like what we do.
We don’t like waking up in the morning and clocking in and building someone else’s dream. However, we aren’t taught how to leave. We don’t know how to step off the merry go round and live a life that is fulfilling and fun while earning a living.
I’ve been on this journey for many years although I’ve always loved what I did. As a journalist, I often wondered why anyone would pay me to do the one thing I loved to do. But, 22 years later, while the work itself was still fun, working for someone else and all the things that come with working for a corporate boss and an organization with a culture that is no longer aligned made being a journalist a job. It was no longer what I loved to do. And, the truth is I could no longer tolerate the non-sense. So, there I was, like most people, trying to figure out how to get off the merry go round.
How to do what I love and get paid. It’s not an easy process. But, it all became very clear one weekend when I took a trip to the Florida Keys.
I stopped at Big Pine Key island. There is a bar called “No Name Bar.” The world-renowned tourist attraction is known for having its walls covered with $1 bills.
For more than three decades, visitors have left personalized messages written on $1 bills that they then staple to the wall. Every open surface inside the bar — the walls, the ceiling, and the bar stand are covered with $1 dollar bills.
The waitress estimates that there is more than half-a-million dollars worth of $1 bills inside this pub. In a very strange way, being inside the bar, I felt this odd connection to everyone who had passed through and left a message.
In talking with the waitress, I realized how happy and carefree she seemed. It turns, she was born on Pine Key. She has worked at the “No Name Pub” for more than 12 years.
I asked her — if she was happy? She responded with the biggest smile on her face.
“I don’t even consider this a job,” she said.
“I love working here. I love being around people and meeting new people all the time,” she added.
I have to admit, I was a little envious of how calm, happy and at peace, she seemed.
It got me thinking. Maybe we are all overthinking this whole “How to Do What You Love” thing too much. Maybe it’s just as easy as just doing what you love. Perhaps we think about the “How” too much.
We paralyze ourselves by thinking about how the thing we love to do will make money, how it will pay our bills, how it will sustain us in a year, in 5 years, or the rest of our lives.
Maybe, it’s as easy as acknowledging the one thing we love to do and to just do it. I recognize this seems and sounds easy and simple.
But, anyone who has accomplished anything knows — you have to be able to believe in the unseen. You have to have faith. In this case, I had to have faith that if I got back to the basics, simply doing the thing that I loved, telling stories, the “How” would reveal itself. And…it did. In ways, I would have NEVER even imagined. I hope you’re able to take some inspiration from this story and are able to do the same.