• Priya Sharma Shaikh

How to find work you love?


'Taking jobs to build up your resume is like saving sex for old age,' said Warren Buffett.

You can’t argue with Warren Buffet. Not because he makes more money in an hour than most of us can only dream of making in a year but because he’s a wise man who knows what it takes to succeed in life. Not the kind of success that is limited to money and fame, but success that leads to joy and happiness.

I am sure that many of you’ve had people give you silly advice on foregoing joy and passion in the name of ‘building your resume’. It’s the route taken by those who are afraid to confront themselves and make difficult choices. They hide behind safe homilies spouted by others like them, thus forming a vicious circle of self-referencing defeatists who’ve given up on all their dreams in favour of the safety within the confines of the cages they’ve created for themselves.

This inspiring talk by Scott Dinsmore speaks against precisely such a tendency to play safe.

How to find work you love

He argues against working purely to ‘build your resume’ and delineates you on how you can go ahead and find the work you will truly love. Dinsmore “quit a job that made him miserable, and spent the next four years wondering how to find work that was joyful and meaningful.”

Identify your unique strengths

What are the things we wake up to, no matter whether we are paid for it or not? According to Scott, this is the first question to answer. Have you thought about it? I am sure you have something that you can’t get enough of, something that keeps you up at night. It could be anything. Irrespective of what we believe, all of us have a few strengths that come naturally to us. Its true that we might not know of some of them. Many people go their entire lives without realising what these strengths are and there’s nothing more pitiful than coming to the realisation late in life when you can’t do anything about it. You don’t want to be in that situation. Before it’s too late, check out Dinsmore's site and take the ‘Am I living my legend’ test to know where you stand.

Know what you truly care about

How do you make your important decisions? What drives these decisions? Love? Health? Family? Achievement? That’s what reveals ourselves to us. The answers define us. If it’s family or love then you will end up making choices that are very different from the ones you will make if you prioritise achievement. We don’t usually seek the answer to this question in good times. Only when faced with a difficult choice do these answers reveal themselves. Take time out and think about it before you are forced to.

Reflect on your experiences

Most of us think about our experiences and reflect on them. But we need to do this in a conscious manner. It’s important to set aside some time once a day to examine, even if for a few minutes, the events of the day. Focus on the positives, on what you did right as also on what you could’ve done better. Amongst other things, this habit will help you learn from your mistakes and give you perspective. There are many ways of doing this and this site has a fine list of ways to make reflection a daily habit.

Surround yourself with passionate people

This is one of the cornerstones of ‘Live your Legend’ movement that believes that there is no bigger hack to bettering your life than to choose who you spend your time with. Dinsmore quotes Jim Rohn who’s reported to have said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

Athletes do this all the time. The best players practice with those like them and keep pushing each other to get better. There’s nothing earth shatteringly new about this idea. It’s intuitive, isn’t it? But how many of us can claim to have consciously worked on it? And these are not the people that you get on with socially, but the ones that challenge you and inspire you in your area of work. I am constantly on the search of like minded people that I can get inspiration from. Have you done such a search?

Talks like these can change lives if you only listen to them. Else they are bunkum. The choice is yours.

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