Work at What You LoveBy
Steve Jobs, founder and CEO of Apple delivered the commencement address in 2005 at Stanford University. He recalled some of his struggles in his journey to success.
He attended Reed College for a short time after graduating from high school. He said, “After six months, I couldn’t see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary.” He continued to take classes that interested him for another 18 months before he completely quit.
Not long after that he and his friend Woz started Apple computers in his parent’s garage. He was 20. By the time he was 30 the company had grown to $2 billion in value with over 4000 employees. Then he was fired! What?
As the company grew they hired a new CEO to run it so Steve could remain in the creative side. Eventually the new CEO and Jobs had a falling out and the board sided with the CEO and fired Jobs.
So he kept doing what he loved. Over the next five years he started Pixar which created the first computer generated animated film, Toy Story. He also started NeXT, a tech company which eventually was bought by Apple. He says, “The technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple’s current renaissance.” This brought him back into the fold and he eventually became CEO again because Apple was struggling.
He says, “Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love.”
He continues, “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.”
Yet, we all get caught up in the day to day grind of our jobs. You have a good job, you need to be responsible to your family, it pays decently, yet you’re dying inside. You don’t hate what you do but still you think, “20 more years of this. Ugh!”
Often we live for the weekend when we can do what we really love. Yet, we’ll spend most of our time working perhaps doing something we really don’t like.
Is there a solution? Can we really spend our lives doing what we enjoy?
Proverbs says, “By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.” (Proverbs 24:3-4, NIV)
Through wisdom, understanding and knowledge you can have a rare and rich life. Does this mean you’ll be as rich as Steve Jobs? Monetarily, probably not. In enjoyment, you certainly can.
So how can you live working at what you love?
First, seek wisdom. Ask God for it everyday. Then tune in to his leading. God promises to give you the wisdom you need if you will seek it.
Second, get understanding. Understand who you are and how you’re wired. What do you enjoy? If you could create your own career what would it look like? What are you good at? Until you really understand what you love to do you won’t have a clue how to form your dream-career.
Third, gain knowledge. Flesh out your dream. How could you turn your dream job into a career? What education will you need? How do you gain experience? How will you get started? This phase turns your dream into a plan.
Fourth, start slow. Pursue it on the side. You won’t be making money so don’t give up your day job until you’re ready. Gain experience. Make mistakes while you still have income. Yes, it’ll take a lot of work and time. But if you truly love what you’re doing it’ll be worth it.
Fifth, when you’re experienced and you can make a living at it, launch. However, if you have a family, make sure they’re on board with you also. This affects them too. It needs to be a joint decision. But if done correctly it can be a great family adventure.
Exciting? Yes. Scary? Yes. Challenging? Absolutely. Rewarding? If done right, definitely.
Is it worth it? You decide.
Life is short and meant to be lived to the fullest. Are you doing what you love?
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Douglas Armey, the LPL Financial adviser associated with this website, practices in Fresno, California and may discuss and/or transact business only with residents of the following states: California, Idaho and Oregon.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which investment(s) may be appropriate for you, consult your financial advisor prior to investing. All performance reference is historical and is no guarantee of future results.