“The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.” – Christian (as played by Ewan McGregor), Moulin Rouge!
If you’re reading this there’s a good chance you fall into one of the following two categories:
- You don’t love what you’re doing and want to see if I have any insight into the topic…the title of the article brought you here.
- You used to love what you’re doing but are currently in doubt about it. You need a boost.
- You’re not loving your life and want to. Again, the title brought you here.
No matter which category you fall into, I hope by bringing you my own journey into “living what I love” will inspire you to aspire for the same.
(First and foremost, I wanted to let you, the reader, know that I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason. I’ll come back to why I hold this to be true shortly, but I just wanted to put that out there from the get-go.)
Marty & Me
Let me take you back to the year 2000 – where Y2K was being feared and Conan O’Brien’s late night predictions were all set to come to fruition. I was working at a large corporation, making decent money and a great benefits package. I had been there for five years, and had worked my way up (both by hard work and well-timed openings and a willingness to transfer) the ladder. I was blindly happy…the term ignorance is bliss definitely comes into play here. Then I had my eyes opened wide by a very good friend, Marty.
Marty also happened to be my roommate—he and I used to play silly improv games to mess with those who would come by our place. We had pictures of each other on our bedside tables—just because. When we’d show people our digs we’d make no reference to the photos—yet we knew when they caught the attention of those visiting. A little bit of awkwardness made for a lot of hilarity for the two of us. Also, I was a member of management and he wasn’t (we worked in different departments) which made for even better moments. When company was over he would act as if I was his boss at home and be at my beck and call. Marty was so committed to the act that he actually washed my car once when I asked him to while I had other managers over. You probably had to be there, but nonetheless, we were having a blast.
He knew I’d had a background in the creative arts growing up as well. He could see that there was a bigger part of me emerging every day to let loose and make good on my talents. That’s why he invited me to an improv rehearsal with one of the local comedy troupes in town. I went…and that’s when my new journey took its first step.
Since that day I’ve produced a ton of comedy shows and one full-fledged musical, performed at comedy festivals, tried my hand at stand up comedy, launched a satirical website (which has since spun off into the workings of a one-man show and then some) and given writing a real shot. I also work at a job that keeps me firmly entrenched in the creative arts while taking advantage of the skills I honed working at my prior jobs.
While I owe Marty of mine a debt of gratitude—which I publicly recognize him for regularly, now most recently with this article—I have others to thank for helping me along this path. My wife’s unending support—through questionable risks and calculated ones—has been unwavering. You should all be so lucky to have a partner that has that kind of patience and understanding. Having a support system is integral in fostering a “life you love.” There are countless others who believed in me…family, friends and co-workers. There were some that were more vocal than others. I thank those people as well.
As mentioned in a recent article, I also owe myself some thanks. I took risks when some wouldn’t. I quit a high-paying job to follow my passions. I’m not saying this to brag. I’m saying it because if I can do it, you can do it. I am at this point in my life because of choices I made and didn’t make, roads I traveled and didn’t travel. Everything does happen for a reason—and you can shape that reason somewhat if you follow your calling. Simply follow your true self.
The First Step
Before you can be awesome at what you do, you’ve got to love what you do. Through the good times and bad, you’ve got to love it. The quote I mentioned at the top of the article references the love for another person – at least in its initial context. But it also pertains to learning to find something that you love to do, and it’ll love you back. Put forth your true self and you’ll find it. That takes courage and resolve, but if you tap into that you’ll find your way. You’ll learn.
We only get one shot at this life of ours – so to make it the best shot you can. Make sure you live what you love.
Otherwise, you’re not really living at all.
Did you make a shift that allowed you to live what you love and love what you live? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!