Work vs. Play

“…It’s dangerous to suggest that work can be anything other than work. Doing what you love can certainly make it a more enjoyable experience. But you’ll also experience a new side of that activity, and it won’t be comfortable. You’ll have to face the inescapable truth that there’s no fooling yourself. Work isn’t the same as play, no matter how similar they might appear on the surface…”

This is an excerpt from a well-written and opinionated post on Forbes about the age-old career advice of “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day”.

Yesterday I wrote about the concept of “No More Mondays” – that dreading Mondays is synonymous with disliking what you do, which leads to frustration, stress, and discomfort, something that ideally you don’t feel about your career.

But, today’s question comes from the opposite side of the spectrum. Should you love your work? Is love too strong of a word? Is it possible to legitemately LOVE what you do?

When you start working on something that you love, do you lose a little bit of that passion? Here’s another excerpt from the Forbes article.

“…it’s a wonderful goal to strive for finding work that you enjoy. In fact, it should be a goal for everyone. But this absurd axiom suggests that you can simply take what you already love, turn it into something for which you get paid (meaning, you have clients and bosses and deadlines and obligations…) and it won’t ever feel like anything other than that thing you love.

This is a blatant, hurtful lie that far too many people fall for. And they end up feeling like something is wrong with them, when really something is wrong with the idea they’ve been sold…”

Work is work – whether you love it or not. A job is still a job and at it’s core it’s about making money for survival. And while I love what I do, if money was no object, I’d much rather be traveling with my wife, playing with my dog, or dominating 12 year olds in Call of Duty.

So I come back to the original question. Should you love your job? Maybe love is the wrong word. Maybe it’s about finding work that fulfills a side of you that the “play” side does not. Maybe it’s about a career that completes the puzzle. Maybe it is about work/life balance after all.


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