Well, are you?
My college track coach asked me this almost everyday. I’m convinced that I didn’t entirely understand the question at first. My standard replies were, “Yes!” or “Of course!” Then one day he said, “Do you know what I’m asking? I want to know if you’re in love with Track and Field.”
Running consumed most of my life and had for some time. I’d been running summer track since age 14. Once I got to UC Berkeley, I was practicing everyday and sometimes twice a day. But truth be told, I’d never really given thought to whether or not I was in love with running. As much as you’d think working out everyday is easy, it’s not. I trained in the hopes that I’d reach some lofty goal, and that goal was always in the balance. Endless interval sessions and back breaking hard work could be instantly flushed down the toilet if I got hurt or fell ill. Not to mention the fact that, in between training sessions, I had to attend class and complete my assignments as well as a non-athlete. So, with that in mind, practicing everyday could have seemed like a job. But no matter how difficult things got, I always enjoyed myself. And despite the possible pitfalls that awaited me, I always continued. So when he finally explained the question, I could undoubtedly say, I was in love.
If you work full-time, you spend 40 hours a week at work, that’s 2,080 hours a year and, if you work until age 70, that’s 145,600 hours in a lifetime. Unfortunately, not everyone has the opportunity to do something that they love everyday. The lucky ones, call them smart or talented or whatever you’d like, have made a career out of the thing they love, be it cinema, design, athletics, medicine, philanthropy or other. And to them, I’d venture to say that their work, more often than not, does not feel like a job. It’s easy to credit circumstances. Of course circumstances make it such that some people aren’t afforded the chance to pursue their passions. I challenge those who, at the moment, can’t do what they love to identify something in their everyday routine that they enjoy. It may be your morning walk to work, the opportunity to take the lead on a project, or your time spent researching innovative ideas for your company. On the other hand, if you don’t know what you love to do, see if you can find a sliver of time in your schedule to figure it out. Research has shown that you’re happier if you reserve at least ten minutes in your day for an enjoyable activity. And be optimistic about the fact that your inability to participate in, or determine that thing you love, is only momentary. Who knows, the journey to find it may be as enjoyable as the act of performance.
I’m thankful that I’ve been allowed to explore and expand upon my passions. I hope that everyone finds and takes the chance to do the same. Happy Friday everyone!
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