Articles

Duty + Passion — How One Complements the Other (in life and work)

I drew this little flower with chunky pastel-colored chalk.

Would you call me an artist?

Be honest.

Of course not.

I was down on my hands and knees attempting to create all sorts of simple figures as I tried to entertain a little nineteen-month-old.

I sure wasn’t impressed with my work.
He wasn’t much impressed either
.

While I can attempt to draw and sketch, it’s not my passion.

Still, whenever we put our minds and hands to any task, no matter how small or disagreeable, we come away with something of benefit.

Many people, can I say most especially young people, believe that they have to find their passion in their work every single day on the job.

It’s not going to happen.
To anyone.
Anywhere.
At any time
.

Even those with the most glamorous careers gut it under and do their duty day after day in order to enjoy the parts of their job they’re passionate about.

I think we’ve missed the mark when we counsel young twenty-somethings that they have to find a place in the job market where their heart will sing from 9 to 5 every day they go to work.

And we set them up to feel like failures when we do.

What we should communicate is that every position has its highs and lows, its exciting 15 minutes of celebration and 7 hours/45 minutes of sometimes hard taxing labor.

I see this often in regard to writing. Most people think they’d love to write a book. I smile.

Because I know better.

Having an idea bouncing around in your brain and not being able to put it on paper in just the right way is frustrating (and it never goes away until you finally get it down or abandon the concept.)

Working alone can get, well, lonely.

And let’s not forget how little journalists make…it’s generally a feast or famine lifestyle.

And I cannot think of another industry where unpredictability reigns supreme.

That said, I can’t imagine doing anything else…I’m passionate about turning a phrase, reading/writing/reviewing books and communicating through the written word. It fits me. Complements me.

If we can remember that we all have mostly mundane work days…I believe it helps us appreciate those over the top wonderful moments so much more.

And honestly, those who keep on doing their best work simply because they said they would tend to incite passion in the people around them.

Do a good job every single day because it’s your duty to do so and watch how your passion begins to blossom all on its own (and in its own time.)

Faithfulness in life and work truly is its own reward.

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