Do what you love and love what you do!
We read endless quotes on social media platforms and buy multiple books on self-help and personal development matters. Some of us even take a step further and hire life coaches to help us become masters of our own lives and put our ducks in a row. And despite our efforts we feel that we’re going around in circles and end up at the start line again and again. One of the most important journeys I embarked on since stepping out of the 9-to-5 race, has been rediscovering myself and what I love to do.
Travelling has been and continues to be essential for me in the development of a SWOT analysis on myself. Allowing myself to emerge in different cultures, understand contrasting perspectives on life and connect to different people, things and places has redefined who I am today. I have come to discover that it is OK to encompass several what I call self-entities. And I am not referring to having a multiple personality but to the open-mindedness and receptiveness to new and different across technology, art, philosophy, politics or any other realms of both civic and personal life.
I don’t recall the number of how many times I brainstormed on what the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats are of several brands and companies I worked for. But I never stopped and wondered what the outcome would be if I’d apply the same exact analysis on myself. Although I appreciate the guidance provided by industry experts, life coaches and self-help book authors on how to set long time goals and maximise our potential, I find that the generalisation with which this subject is treated and lack of personalisation remove any potential relevance for the reader.
It is said that personal development is a lifelong process. I agree from the perspective of an always-changing self, however I find that a statement as such brings with it the idea of a tunnel without any lighting at the end, an eternal battle of becoming the quintessence of perfection.
Why look for stereotypes? Why embody saturated characters? Why let ourselves influenced by apparent role models? Are we not looking for self-efficacy?
As highlighted by psychologist Albert Bandura, one’s sense of self-efficacy can play a major role in how one approaches goals, tasks, and challenges.
Here are my 5 steps that I have climbed to discover what I love and start loving what I do:
IT IS OK TO CHANGE – what you love, what you do, your company’s prospects or your business strategy. Consistency is not defined by conforming to what the society says, but by adapting to the changes that will lead you to a better result.
BE A BETTER SELF NOT A COPY OF SOMEONE ELSE – believe in your own capacities and stop trying to be someone else. Each one of us is unique and good at conducting some activities better than others.
BE WILLING TO FAIL – for a week, for two months or a year if necessary, but never ever give up. Progress is not only measured in profitability, understand that building up a new project also involves long term intangible costs, mainly emotionally.
NO EXCITEMENT NO GAME – if you loose the excitement at your workplace, as an entrepreneur or for a project then drop it. Look for something else that can keep you eternally challenged and passionate. It is acceptable to feel exhausted, furious or annoyed but when you start doing what you love the passion and eagerness to succeed will always be there.
SET SHORT TERM GOALS – having long term goals is good, furthermore it is essential. But if you haven’t set short term goals than the journey to success will seem never ending and the likelihood of giving up halfway is much higher. It might sound silly, but every step forward should be celebrated and seen as an achievement.
Yes, it might sound easier to say than do but you will never know if you don’t give it a GO.