Three Reasons to Love What You Do Before Doing What You Love
The following is a guest post by Arman Sadeghi. His bio follows.
Do what you love. Go after your dreams. Pursue your passions. Those are just some of the things we hear as young kids growing up. While many things change as we get older, this is one of those adages that never seem to change.
The advice from everyone around us, including those who love us, the books we read, podcasts we listen to, and just about everyone who gives us advice, is to do what we love. However, before we take this advice and start applying it, let’s consider just a few things.
For most people, “doing what they love” isn’t always the same in reality as it is in theory.
One of the first things that happens when people pursue what they love as a career is the discovery that it isn’t that much different from the last thing they were doing. Within about a year or so after starting, most people end up having approximately the same level of happiness as they did when they doing what they didn’t love. In fact, study after study has shown that changing the circumstances in an individual’s life rarely results in a change in their level of happiness.
What that means is that there is a particular order in which one must pursue happiness in work to produce the desired result.
In this case, step one is to love who you are and what you do right now first, before undertaking step two, which is to go after all of your dreams and everything you have ever wanted.
There are three very important reasons why this is the case:
If You are Unhappy With What You do Now, You Will be Unhappy When You Make Your Dreams a Reality
It has been shown that approximately one year after either winning the lottery or having a catastrophic, paralyzing accident, both people will go back to approximately the same level of happiness as they had in their lives prior. This fact points to one simple thing – happiness is not determined by outside influences in the long term.
It’s true that, in the short term, more money, an attractive mate, a better job, a sense of freedom, or something else could bring us happiness.
But the human mind maintains a beautiful equilibrium, and we consistently go back to our equilibrium set point – regardless of the outside influences. This is much like the thermostat on a heating and air conditioning unit. Regardless of the outside influences of the sun beating down or a blizzard blowing through, a thermostat can maintain the temperature inside a home. While in the short term, the sun may heat up the house slightly or the freezing winds may cool down the house, the thermostat will always kick in and bring us back to equilibrium. Therefore, to have a warmer or cooler house, it is not necessary to pray for more sun or snow. Instead, we must focus on finding the thermostat, learning how to use it, and changing our set point.
Regardless of the outside influences, we can always get back to a newer, happier set point that will allow us to thrive.
So in other words, before trying to do what you love, love what you do.
This Used to be What You Loved
It’s easy to look at what we are doing today that makes us unhappy or simply not happy enough, and think that changing it will make us happier.
When people say, “follow your dreams” and “do what you love,” there is something inside of us that makes us believe there is something better out there. It reminds us of all the things we want to do that we are not doing. In that dreamy state of thinking about these things, our mind has a beautiful way of pushing away the negatives and hiding the potential reality of this new path, and instead only focusing on the positive.
Like a teenager who wants to be a rock star, we think of our dreams. In that moment, we don’t remember that being a rockstar involves spending most of our lives on the road. There are many days and hours in busses, with long hours practicing and recording in a studio. We forget the pain of having our latest album and our life’s work scrutinized by the media, and even our own fans. We forget that even the best pieces of art are met with criticism and negativity. As we continue in our dream state, we don’t consider the reality of our potential new endeavors.
Defining The Dream
If you think long and hard enough at the things in your life that make you unhappy today or things that are simply not good enough, you will realize that many of these things used to be our dreams. For most people, their relationship is the easiest place to look.
For just about everyone I know, the relationship they are in now at one point was a dream. But for some, that dream turns into a nightmare. It’s important to remember however that this used to be the dream. Therefore, as we close our eyes and dream about our next endeavor or our next mate, it’s important to remember that there is no guarantee this new dream won’t end up in the same place as the last dream unless we drastically change the way in which we do things. This means taking responsibility for our happiness, as opposed to thinking that outside influences are going to change things.
Be happy with who you are and what you have and then pursue everything that you want.
Be the Best Version of Yourself Now
I have coached thousands of people in just about every aspect of life, but nothing has allowed me to see human beings for who they really are better than working as a business coach.
When you work people and see the ins and outs of every aspect of how they run their business, you really get to know them and who they are as individuals. What I have observed is that most people in business who are struggling often are looking ahead at a time where they will be out of this current business. They often blame outside circumstances on the realities of their lives.
Many blame the economy, their customers, their employees, the laws, and even God. Nevertheless, the most successful people in business take responsibility for the current status of their business, regardless of outside influences. They understand that they alone control the destiny of their business. While outside influences can attempt to change their reality, they are more powerful than any of these outside influences.
Wherever you may be in life and whatever you may be doing, the key is to focus on being the best version of yourself today, taking whatever situation you are in, and focusing on growing as an individual so that you can be at your personal best. By learning to be at your personal best and not focusing on always running away from the current situation, your mind and body will be prepared to help you battle whatever comes your way in the future.
Can You Be Happy Now?
I have presented this content in front of thousands of people as a keynote speaker and to individuals on a one-on-one basis. In most cases, it is initially met with resistance because it goes against everything that we have been taught since we were young. However, I want you to think about it for just a moment and consider how your life would be if what I am saying is actually true.
If what I am saying is true, doesn’t that mean that you don’t have to wait for all of your dreams to come true to be happy? Wouldn’t it be nice to be happy today? Wouldn’t it be nice to have all of the things you dream of and all of the feelings you wish to have today, without having to wait months and years?
Focus on loving what you do and more importantly, loving who you are. Once you have accomplished this, get absolutely focused on everything that you want and pursue your dreams like nothing before.
Now, I would never suggest that you should not follow your dreams. In fact, I think very strongly that everyone should follow their dreams. I simply feel that there is an order of operations to everything in life.
When it comes to happiness, it is about loving who you are and what you have before pursuing everything that you have always wanted.
An entrepreneur and founder of Titanium Success, Arman Sadeghi began his path of personal development while a student at University of California at Berkeley earning his degree in neuroscience and biology. A few years later, he furthered his neuroscience education at Harvard Medical School. At both universities, he gained the knowledge and the passion for healthy mind, body, and spirit; driving his love for coaching through Titanium Success, and his personal life as a devoted and present husband and father.