“What they love” vs. “what feeds their soul”

So, there was an interesting topic recently in a homeschool forum and somewhere along the way, a friend posted:

My mom is a recruiter, and has tried to find jobs for people with PhD’s before, because they can’t even find work in their field. It’s sobering. “Doing what you love” is great, but doesn’t always pay the bills.

It occurred to me that people have a misconception about what “do what you love” means…

When I taught high school business courses, I used to tell my students to “do what they loved and the money would come”.  Because “doing what you love” gives you better odds than most.  I responded to my friend that most people who “do what they love” don’t necessarily feel the need to take that to the PhD level (or even get a degree).

You see, “do what you love” is less about being happy as people think it is.  In fact, I don’t even agree with the adage “do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life”.  The reality is that anything you actually love to do can become a burden when you’re FORCED to do it (for a paycheck or any other reason).  My perspective is more that “doing what you love” is about the level of success you are likely to obtain on that path. When you do what you love, you want to immerse yourself in it. You want to learn more about it. You spend a lot of time analyzing and perfecting it. You see life situations in the context of that thing you love. It is part of your being and permeates who you are and when you’re talking to aunt Martha who mentions something random, it somehow prompts an idea in the domain of that topic you love–because it’s never really back-burnered.

And those are the people that succeed. The people who have even found that kind of passion, anyway. Not many have that blessing. We don’t generally give kids the space to REALLY get in touch with what feeds their soul rather than “what they like to do”.

Who has time to find the things that feed their soul?  Do YOU even know what feeds YOUR soul?  When you think about how we are raised in America–culturally–when are we given enough free time with NOTHING to do for any extended period of time?  When are driven to the point of being so bored that we have to really think about what we want to do, and then find a way to do it…?  In our society, NOBODY is EVER THAT bored anymore.  Have you ever had so much time free from the grindstone that you can delve deeply into something or follow spin-off after spin-off of topics to find that thing that just STRIKES you at your core?  People do.  I do.  But do you?  And how many people do you know that actually do something that feeds their soul as opposed to just being something they enjoy?

The difference?

The difference is that when something feeds your soul, you’re driven to do it even when there is no paycheck.  I’m not saying you’ll take a volunteer job instead of a paying job.  Or that you’d take a job doing what feeds your soul when it won’t pay your bills.  But I am saying that something that feeds your soul is something you will make the time for after the job that pays the bills… because you NEED it.  You thirst for it.  You are restored when you are immersed in it.

Do you have something like that?

Something that feeds your soul?

Because it’s actually kind of important.  In so many, many ways.


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