Some of them are the unsung heroes of our times, those who do the things that need to be done — the cleaning woman, the garbage man, the street sweeper, the food store cashier, the seller of bus tickets, the construction worker.
But then there are also those who work jobs they don’t like because they think they have no other choice. Or because they are the victims of their own particular ideas about happiness.
They think that they have to do it for the money. Sometimes they really need the money to pay for college or to put it aside to make their dream come true.
But work takes up too much of our life for us to squander it only for money. Sometimes, to lead a better life, one that is aligned to your passions, you don’t have to work harder, but to work less.
Slowing down and holding tight to the things you want to hold tight to can make all the difference. That may mean giving up on things and comforts. Living on less. Becoming frugal even.
I have no degree, no CV, no credentials, but I do what I enjoy. I write every day and I get paid for it. I write in a language that is not even my native language. I am not uncommonly intelligent or particularly lucky. But when you do something that is a natural extension of who you are, the world works for you.
Passion is the world’s way of letting you know what you have to do. Every passion is an aspect of the world that the world needs to manifest. It is not wishful thinking, but the way the world works. A flower will not deny its leaf the nourishment it needs to grow, for the leaf is a part of the flower, and the flower needs the leaf to absorb the sunlight. Our passions are but the leaves of the tree of life.
When you put your heart into something, you either accomplish it, or realize that you don’t want to accomplish it, and quit. Either way, you are better off than doing something you don’t enjoy for money or for comfort.
Working for comfort is a dangerous thing. However hard you work, you will not have enough money. Or you will have money, but not time. When work is only work, dissatisfaction is always at your side, like a goblin.
That doesn’t mean you should quit your job or your studies. Having a job is usually good and healthy. Studying for a degree can be wonderful. Many people’s path to self-fulfillment passes through a college or university, and possibly through a few odd jobs, too.
But it does mean that you have to build your life around what you enjoy doing. The world is eager to help you because it needs to manifest your passion. Getting out of bed and crawling through work becomes so much easier when that odd job is only a step toward doing what you feel you have to do.
However, when your job takes you in a different direction from what you know and feel you should do, then quitting that road is sometimes the best thing you can do, not only for yourself but also for those around you.
Some of the world’s greatest men and women have been not only great doers, but also great quitters. Often, you can’t do something great before you first quit doing something meager. That’s something we should remind ourselves every day.