I stumbled across a quote by Xandria Ooi, shared in a blog post by Rebecca Toh, that has stayed with me this last week or so. Here’s what she wrote:
In life we don’t have to strive to be hardworking. We just have to strive to care. Because it is only when we care about something that we are driven and motivated to put in the work needed to make it amazing… If you don’t care, you will feel very pressured and stressed, like you have to work hard but you don’t even know why, you just feel like you have to… George Bernard Shaw said, “I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live.” It is not about being hardworking, but that the true joy in life is when we are being thoroughly used for a purpose we believe in and care about.
This is one of those quotes that has you nodding your head and saying, ‘Yes!’ out loud. Well, it did me at least!
We all know the truth that, when you care about something, it doesn’t feel like hard work.
It’s the same with caring about people. When you care about someone, going to great lengths to support or help that person doesn’t feel like a chore at all. It’s a pleasure.
Easy as it’d be to apply this to careers, I don’t want to go there. Some of us may find professions where we get to unite our hard work with something we genuinely care about. Many of us don’t have that door open to us though.
So all I’ll say is this: Even if your job isn’t something that you care about on a deep level, find something in your life that you do truly care about.
You might only get to pursue it outside of employment. It may never be more than a hobby. But all our lives are richer when we find passions we can dive into, pouring our heart and soul, working hard yet it feeling like true joy. Seek that out. And if you can get paid for it, great. But don’t let that be a barrier. Just find something you care about and make space for it.