Today it’s my pleasure to welcome Melissa Gorzelanczyk as a guest author here at Life Without Pants. Melissa writes at Amazing Work and Peace & Projects, where she is figuring out life, love and getting (amazing) stuff done. Come over for a visit, lovely. (Totally her word, I couldn’t pull off calling you guys “lovely”…)

If you want some solid advice on how to live life, hook up with a 5th grade guidance counselor.

I did, along with Little Boy and Mr. Right. I kept track of the main points, feeling a positive, sunshiny feeling spread as we talked. Here’s the gist of the meeting:

  • People that do work they love are extremely successful.
  • People that do work they love live happy lives.
  • Finding and doing work you love is the only option.

Right! I’m on board. So is every 5th grader in the district. Its simple: find something you love to do and make money doing it.

Fast forward to turning 18, entering  the “real world” and earning a big F for failure for taking 5th grade advice.

In the real world, most people I know don’t love work. They love leaving work. They love the weekend. They love celebrating a hard week at work by spending some of their hard-earned money. They live in a constant state of the Mondays.

I wondered: When is the disconnect? When do you decide to give up on doing work you truly love to simply make money? (Disclaimer: Money is good, money is awesome, I can never have enough, personally. You need money to live, plain and simple. If you think this post is about giving up money to blindly follow a whim – AKA your passion in life – you’re wrong).

But really: What happened to that work you love?

Take my own work, for instance. I’m finally doing my amazing work for a living. But I’m almost 30 years old. So what have I been doing until now?

Amazing work on the side, you guess? Making money and then switching gears to do what really lights me up, what leaves me shouting, “Yes! This is what I want to share with you!” … All those years …right?

No. That’s what this post is about. For 10 years, I didn’t do much amazing work. I did ok and good work, or I’ll admit, work I hated but pretended to like. I ignored the writer inside, putting her on a shelf for, “Someday, later, when I have time.”

This post is a confession: It was a mistake.

Because unless you’re working for yourself, making craptons of money doing exactly what you want, chances are your day is spent following someone else’s direction. That’s how companies are built. You’re their employee. They own your time.

But what about the other time? That time you spend watching TV, feeding virtual fish on Facebook and hosting whine and wine nights? You own that, you. Own. That. Time.

It was an easy but blindsiding epiphany. I saw: my day job was not always filled with amazing work. Slowly, I changed that. I uncovered the amazing parts and started to do more of those things. I didn’t ask for permission. Then, I took the time I actually owned and filled it with even more amazing work.

And the past 10 years? Well, obviously I didn’t have time to follow my dreams. When I was single, I was too busy. When I was planning a wedding, I was busy. Raising two kids, duh, busy. Name an excuse, insert here.

But redemption, I finally wondered: “Yeah, why DON’T you start a blog?

What are you waiting for?

Let me turn the tables: What’s your answer? Why haven’t you started that thing you want to do? If you’re waiting for permission to go, you have it, go! Don’t wait any longer … do what you really want to do. Don’t wait for a time when you’re not busy (doesn’t exist) or an investor or an agent. Go. Don’t quit your day job. Just take a peek at the next chapter in life. Get out of the prologue.

Today is the best day to take off your pants.

Today is the best day to do something amazing. What will you do?

Photo by Thomas Hawk

About Matt Cheuvront

I empower folks to do the work they want to do and live the life they want to live. I also watch entirely too much Saved by the Bell, run marathons, and drink plenty of craft beer. Check out the work my company is doing at Proof Branding.