How to do what you love

How to do what you love

How to do what you love

“ Life is short. If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, that moment is now.”

Figuring out what you’re passionate about is a popular topic that finds its way in conversations with friends, at work, and in blog posts: like this one.

And it’s a clear reminder that many of us will reach a point in our lives, if you haven’t already, where the desire to leave behind the mundane to live a life you love is too strong to ignore.

But trying to figure out exactly what you love to do can be challenging.

We feel this intense urge to just “figure it out”. But when we look around, that passion is nowhere to be found, and we aren’t where we truly want to be.

It frustrates us.

It keeps us up at night.

It makes us anxious as we notice more and more time is slipping away while we sit around feeling confused.

We see others who have seemingly identified their ‘thing’, their passion, their calling, and we hope one day that we will get there too.

While I don’t feel like I’m remotely qualified to tell others how to live their lives by a long shot, I am the most qualified person to speak on my own life and share the things that I’ve found helpful in pushing me along my journey to figuring out what I’m most passionate about.

With that said, here are 7 ways to find your passion:

I really can’t stress the importance of this one enough. Having lots of interests may feel overwhelming, but it’s actually a great problem to have despite how much you feel you’re “all over the place.”

When you’re on the journey to figuring out what you love most, this is one of the most crucial steps and it’s actually quite simple.

Do a lot of things.

It’s better to have lots of options and interests than none at all. So, kudos to you for not being boring!

Make a list of all the things you’re interested in, pick two to focus on first and then get busy. Find some classes to see if these things are something you really want to pursue further.

If you realize it’s not what you thought it would be, scratch it off of your list and move on.

If you end up loving it and find yourself consistently wanting to do more of it, well then you’re on to something.

2. Always stay true to yourself.

Just because your degree says you have fulfilled the requirements to go out and get a job in a certain industry doesn’t mean you’ll always love doing that.

You’re entitled to change your mind whenever you want, and you can and should always follow the path where your heart leads.

Where does that path lead?

I believe it leads to true joy.

We often try to place limits on ourselves after we’ve invested so much money in school and move into the working world: feeling stuck at jobs with horrible bosses, low pay and in cities that just aren’t what we expected.

The secret to getting unstuck isn’t hard at all. Stop doing what you hate and begin taking the steps to doing what you love.

You don’t have to feel confined to a box and you shouldn’t worry about being defined by one thing.

As much as I love traveling, writing and inspiring others through my own journey, I am also passionate about my yoga practice, healthy living. And I love sharing my wellness journey with others just as much as my travel plans.

I embrace having multiple interests even if I’m not quite sure how I can combine them all into one perfect identity — and right now, I don’t feel the need to.

However you go about finding your passion, you definitely won’t find it by watching and comparing where you are in life to others.

If it seems as if your friends are further along in their career or like they have it all figured out, nine times out of ten I can assure you they don’t have it all figured out: no matter how many filters they use on those pictures.

But, maybe they did take a big leap of faith, move across the country, or sacrifice relationships to get to where they are.

Whatever it is, you can’t compare your journey to theirs.

4. Let go of fear.

Fear is the ultimate buzz kill.

It can convince you to pass up some of the most amazing opportunities all because you can’t see past taking that first step.

I don’t know about you but I don’t like walking around in the dark. You don’t know if you’ve got a clear path or if you’re going to bang your knee on the coffee table.

But in order to get to the other side of the room so you can turn on the light, you just have to get through the hard part and the uncertainty.

In order to find your passion, big leaps of faith are mandatory.

As counterproductive as this one seems, we tend to get so confused at times with all of the thoughts, ideas and emotions swarming through our minds that we get frustrated because we just can’t seem to figure it out.

Time is passing by fast and according to our checklist, we were supposed to be knee deep in our passion by age 25.

The reality is, for some of us, this takes a bit longer than our expectations want to accept.

Sometimes giving ourselves a moment of stillness to simply do nothing is just what we need to realize that what we are passionate about has been right in front of us the entire time.

6. Forget about the money.

A dollar amount should never be the determining factor of what you do in life and if it is, more than likely you will always end up in positions doing things you’re not passionate about just to make a coin.

When you are truly passionate about something, you do it because you genuinely love doing it first, and then you figure out how to make a living from it.

7. Know that everyone won’t “get” you.

If I’ve learned one thing throughout the past few years of my twenties, it’s to limit the amount of advice I solicit from people who are not qualified to offer their counsel on what I’m doing with my life.

Some people will never “get” you or your visions and that’s okay.

It’s not for them to understand anyway.

Spend less time explaining or rationalizing your goals and dreams, and surround yourself with people who can propel you further while you’re busy working toward discovering your passion.

What do you find works best for you when figuring out your passion?

How to do what you love

Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox

How to do what you love

When I decided to leave my own corporate job years ago to pursue the culinary arts, I couldn’t think much further than doing what I love on a daily basis: cooking. But it soon became clear to me that leaving the safety of one career to take up another is not quite that simple.

Doing something you love will make you work harder at it, but that alone doesn’t mean you have a good business. Hard work, ultimately, has to meet with the right opportunities, and that’s where entrepreneurial spirit can come in, allowing passion to meet real business sense.

My own journey in the kitchen has taught me innumerable lessons that extend far beyond time and temperature. If you are looking to change yours, here are some tried and tested lessons I can share:

1. Treat goals like recipes. Remember to take it one step at a time.
It’s easy to get mired in the day-to-day, and though you may be doing something you love broadly speaking, that doesn’t mean you will love it all the time. Segmenting my goals and having a clear vision has allowed me to stay calm and focused on the process. Keep your ultimate objectives in mind, but try to appreciate and not look past where you are today. I often remind myself that I’m always learning and getting a little closer to my dream.

2. Get to know the people who came before you.
When I changed careers, I studied star chefs like Jean-Georges and Thomas Keller as well as people with successful food and lifestyle brands like Martha Stewart and Giada de Laurentiis. I wanted to better understand the landscape as well as the successes and mistakes these guys had made. I never expected to take their exact path, but I did gain an understanding of what went into their level of achievement.

3. Always have something to offer.
I do a fair bit of traveling, learning from chefs and home cooks around the world. When I visit a new location, I like to shadow cooks in professional or home kitchens to learn their techniques and dishes. This has been a huge challenge as both a foreigner and a female. I usually start small, asking if I can watch service for the day. In exchange, I offer to prep and make something, whether that be the staff’s family meal or a recipe the chef may not know. Taking a little more time to build trust and having something to offer helps open people up more.

4. Seek help from those who do it better than you can.
Use your network and resources thoughtfully. If you don’t have a skill, you likely know someone who does. For example, I wanted to photograph the recipes from my book myself but I wasn’t a pro food photographer. I bought a great camera, reached out to a talented photographer and friend who was willing to teach me and prepared myself for trial and error.

5. Prepare to be uncomfortable, both physically and mentally.
Some of the greatest lessons and most gratifying experiences have come from times when I wasn’t entirely comfortable with what I was doing. I’m not just talking about having to lift 80 pound vats of stock in some of the kitchens where I worked. When I signed on to write my first cookbook, I was pregnant and already working full-time. I had to write, cook, test and photograph the entire book. This idea terrified me. There were days when I was so exhausted it was hard to get off the couch. But the book is done and will be out this year.

It just goes to show: When you’re pushed, you push back. Rise to the occasion because success might be waiting around the corner for you.

How to do what you love

Passion and purpose–in short, doing what you love–can be difficult to find. Some people search forever. Some gain remarkable skills and talents only to think, I’m great at this. So why don’t I feel successful? Others, even after building successful businesses, suddenly think, Hold on. This is just not me.

Though we would all like to be happier at work, at times it’s easy to miss the work-we-love forest for the irritation trees. So I asked Dharmesh Shah, co-founder of HubSpot (No, 666 on the Inc. 5000 in 2013) and a guy who has spent a tremendous amount of time thinking about doing what he loves and creating a company his employees love, how he knows he loves his work.

See what you think. Though some of the following may not be true all of the time, when you love what you do, many should be the case much of the time. There’s a results chart at the end, so keep track of how many apply to you:

1. You don’t struggle to stay disciplined; you struggle to prioritize. Your problem definitely isn’t staying busy and on task. Getting going isn’t an issue. Your problem is you have so many things you want to do, you struggle to decide what to do first.

2. You think, I hope I get to. instead of, I hope I don’t have to. When you love your work, it’s like peeling an onion. There are always more layers to discover and explore. When you hate your work it’s also like peeling an onion–but all you find are more tears.

3. You don’t talk about other people; you talk about the cool things other people are doing. “I hear Chad just invested in a startup. What are they working on?” “I can’t believe Angie won their business back; I’d love to know how she did it.” “Cecilia developed a new sales channel. Let’s ask her how we can best leverage that.”

When you love your work, you don’t gossip about the personal failings of others. You talk about their successes, because you’re happy for them (which is also also a sign you’re happy with yourself.)

4. You think about what you will say, not how you will say it. You don’t have to worry about agendas or politics or subtle machinations. You trust your team members–and they trust you.

5. You see your internal and external customers not as people to satisfy but simply as people. You don’t see customers as numbers. They’re real people who have real needs. And you gain a real sense of fulfillment and purpose from taking care of those needs.

6. You enjoy your time at work. You don’t have to put in time at work and then escape to “life” to be happy. You enjoy life and enjoy work. You feel alive and joyful not just at home but also at work. When you love your work, it’s a part of your life.

7. You enjoy attending meetings. No, seriously, you enjoy meetings. Why? Because you like being at the center of thoughtful, challenging discussions that lead to decisions, initiatives, and changes–changes you help make happen.

8. You don’t think about surviving. You think about winning. You don’t worry much about your business failing. You’re more worried about your business not achieving its potential. And you worry about whether you’re making as big an impact as you can. Those are good worries.

9. You’re excited about what you’re doing, but you’re more excited about the people you’re doing it with. Why? They’re smart. Passionate. Confident. Funny. Dedicated. Giving. Inspiring.

10. You hardly ever look at the clock. You’re too busy making things happen. And when you do look at the clock, you often find that the time has flown.

11. You view success in terms of fulfillment and gratification, not just money. Everyone wants to build something bigger. Everyone wants to benefit financially. Yet somewhere along the way, your work has come to mean a lot more to you than just a living. And if you left your business, even if for something that paid more, you would miss it. A lot.

12. You leave work with items on your to-do list you’re excited about tackling tomorrow. Many people cross the fun tasks off their to-do lists within the first hour or two. You often have cool stuff–new initiatives, side projects, hunches you want to confirm with data, people you want to talk to–left over when it’s time to go home.

13. You help without thinking. You like seeing your employees succeed, so it’s second nature to help them out. You pitch in automatically. And they do the same for you.

14. You don’t think about retirement, because retirement sounds boring…and a lot less fulfilling.

15. Your business is a business you would want your children to run. There may be aspects of your business you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy, much less your kids: insufferable customers, unbearable employees, difficult working conditions, uncertain long-term prospects.

If you would say to your child, “No, I would never want you to have to deal with that,” why do allow yourself to continue to deal with that?

Naturally, you want your kids to be happy. You also deserve to be happy. List the problems and then fix the problems.

How many of the above statements apply to you and your business?

If you said:

0-4: You need to find a line of work. Life is too short.

5-8: You don’t hate your work but don’t love it either. What can you do differently?

9-12: You really enjoy your work and the people you work with.

13-15: You are deeply, madly in love with your work! (And your friends are jealous!)

Having a hobby that you enjoy—whether that’s crocheting a sweater for your bestie’s new baby, hitting the slopes to enjoy some fresh powder, or practicing pirouettes in ballet class—has all sorts of well-documented benefits, from lower levels of stress to an increased sense of belonging and purpose.

Clearly, hobbies can make a serious impact on your quality of life. But they can also improve your work performance. According to licensed professional counselor Rebecca Weiler, when you’re engaged and fulfilled in your life outside of work (like you are when you’re pursuing meaningful hobbies), that happiness spills over. It can make you more focused and enthusiastic when you’re on the job.

And depending on the hobby, the skills you gain as a result of your leisurely pursuits can also make you better at your job (and make you a more appealing candidate for potential employers). “For example, someone who performs in an improvisational group as a hobby could be attractive to an employer because they can think quickly on their feet and may also be more comfortable presenting in front of a group of people,” Weiler says.

So, having a hobby that you love can do good things for your life and your job. But what if you don’t actually have a hobby you enjoy? You’re not alone. According to Weiler, trying to find meaningful hobbies is one of the primary reasons her clients—especially young people—seek counseling.

Clearly, there are plenty of people out there who don’t have, or don’t know how to find, a hobby. But that doesn’t mean they can’t find one. It doesn’t matter if you’re 25 or 85 years old—it’s not too late to hop on board the hobby train! Here are a few strategies you can use to find a hobby you truly love.

1. Transform What You Already Enjoy Into a Hobby

Even if you don’t have something that you consider a hobby, there’s definitely some activity that you enjoy—and chances are, there’s a way to transform it into a full-fledged hobby. “I always ask people what it is they like to do for fun,” says Weiler. “It’s a good thing to explore—because things like ‘eating’ and ‘watching sports’ could easily be turned into hobbies such as ‘taking cooking classes’ or ‘joining a softball team.’”

Look at the ways you already enjoy spending your time and figure out how they can become hobbies. Have you watched every stand-up special on Netflix. twice? Try taking an improv class. Is your favorite part of the day playing with your dog? Try volunteering with a rescue organization. Love reading about random pop culture facts on the internet? Try joining a trivia team.

The point is, you’re already doing things you love. The easiest way to find hobbies that you truly enjoy—and that will make you a better, more well-rounded person and employee—is to figure out how to build off those things.

2. Reclaim Your Childhood Interests

Think about the hobbies you used to enjoy before work, life, and #adulting got in the way.

When you were a kid, what did you like to do? Did you spend hours finger-painting masterpieces to hang on the fridge? If so, you might want to explore taking an art class. Were you constantly getting dressed in costume and putting on shows for your friends? Then maybe you can check out a local acting troupe. Or maybe you spent the entire year looking forward to Field Day at school—in which case, you could explore joining an adult kickball or flag football league.

When you were a kid, you probably had hobbies you loved—so revisiting them as an adult can be a great way to get back into the groove.

3. Take an Assessment

The most fun hobby in the world for one person can be downright torturous for another—and vice versa. People tend to enjoy hobbies that appeal to their own unique strengths, interests, and personality characteristics.

According to Weiler, there are a number of personality assessments that can help you figure out which hobbies might be the right fit. Two of the most effective? The Strong Interest Inventory, which can help you identify key interests, and the Myers Briggs Type Indicator, which can give you deeper insight into your personality type. These assessments can help you figure out which hobbies are most aligned with who you are and offer insight into what you might enjoy.

So, for example, you might take the Myers-Briggs assessment and find out you’re an ENFJ. ENFJs tend to be social, passionate, and altruistic—so doing volunteer work for a charitable organization might feel like a meaningful hobby to pursue. Or maybe you’re an INTP, in which case you value logic above all else—so learning how to program and spending your free time writing computer software or games could be a great fit.

4. Start Trying Things (and See What Sticks)

The truth is, no matter how you approach finding a new hobby, it can be hit or miss. For example, you might think crafting is the perfect creative outlet—only to find it feels boring and monotonous. That’s OK! If you really want to find a hobby you love, you need to be willing to put yourself out there—and be just as willing to accept that not everything you try is going to be a slam dunk.

Think of anything you might find interesting—whether that’s kite surfing, macramé, or karate—and take a class. If you like it, great! Keep pursuing it. If not, cross it off the list and move on to the next potentially interesting thing.

“Join organizations, clubs, or groups where you can try things out. Websites such as Meetup.com are a great way to explore different interests which can then lead to hobbies and also allows people to test the waters at no or a low cost,” says Weiler. “Connecting with similarly minded people can also be important as it can teach us more about ourselves and what we like/dislike or want to make a commitment to.”

It might take a few attempts to find a hobby that you love, but the key is to not give up. Keep putting yourself out there, connecting with people, and exploring new things that feel exciting to you. Eventually, you’ll find a hobby that feels like the right fit—and you’ll learn a bunch of new things and meet cool people in the process!

How to do what you love

How to do what you love

“ Life is short. If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, that moment is now.”

Figuring out what you’re passionate about is a popular topic that finds its way in conversations with friends, at work, and in blog posts: like this one.

And it’s a clear reminder that many of us will reach a point in our lives, if you haven’t already, where the desire to leave behind the mundane to live a life you love is too strong to ignore.

But trying to figure out exactly what you love to do can be challenging.

We feel this intense urge to just “figure it out”. But when we look around, that passion is nowhere to be found, and we aren’t where we truly want to be.

It frustrates us.

It keeps us up at night.

It makes us anxious as we notice more and more time is slipping away while we sit around feeling confused.

We see others who have seemingly identified their ‘thing’, their passion, their calling, and we hope one day that we will get there too.

While I don’t feel like I’m remotely qualified to tell others how to live their lives by a long shot, I am the most qualified person to speak on my own life and share the things that I’ve found helpful in pushing me along my journey to figuring out what I’m most passionate about.

With that said, here are 7 ways to find your passion:

I really can’t stress the importance of this one enough. Having lots of interests may feel overwhelming, but it’s actually a great problem to have despite how much you feel you’re “all over the place.”

When you’re on the journey to figuring out what you love most, this is one of the most crucial steps and it’s actually quite simple.

Do a lot of things.

It’s better to have lots of options and interests than none at all. So, kudos to you for not being boring!

Make a list of all the things you’re interested in, pick two to focus on first and then get busy. Find some classes to see if these things are something you really want to pursue further.

If you realize it’s not what you thought it would be, scratch it off of your list and move on.

If you end up loving it and find yourself consistently wanting to do more of it, well then you’re on to something.

2. Always stay true to yourself.

Just because your degree says you have fulfilled the requirements to go out and get a job in a certain industry doesn’t mean you’ll always love doing that.

You’re entitled to change your mind whenever you want, and you can and should always follow the path where your heart leads.

Where does that path lead?

I believe it leads to true joy.

We often try to place limits on ourselves after we’ve invested so much money in school and move into the working world: feeling stuck at jobs with horrible bosses, low pay and in cities that just aren’t what we expected.

The secret to getting unstuck isn’t hard at all. Stop doing what you hate and begin taking the steps to doing what you love.

You don’t have to feel confined to a box and you shouldn’t worry about being defined by one thing.

As much as I love traveling, writing and inspiring others through my own journey, I am also passionate about my yoga practice, healthy living. And I love sharing my wellness journey with others just as much as my travel plans.

I embrace having multiple interests even if I’m not quite sure how I can combine them all into one perfect identity — and right now, I don’t feel the need to.

However you go about finding your passion, you definitely won’t find it by watching and comparing where you are in life to others.

If it seems as if your friends are further along in their career or like they have it all figured out, nine times out of ten I can assure you they don’t have it all figured out: no matter how many filters they use on those pictures.

But, maybe they did take a big leap of faith, move across the country, or sacrifice relationships to get to where they are.

Whatever it is, you can’t compare your journey to theirs.

4. Let go of fear.

Fear is the ultimate buzz kill.

It can convince you to pass up some of the most amazing opportunities all because you can’t see past taking that first step.

I don’t know about you but I don’t like walking around in the dark. You don’t know if you’ve got a clear path or if you’re going to bang your knee on the coffee table.

But in order to get to the other side of the room so you can turn on the light, you just have to get through the hard part and the uncertainty.

In order to find your passion, big leaps of faith are mandatory.

As counterproductive as this one seems, we tend to get so confused at times with all of the thoughts, ideas and emotions swarming through our minds that we get frustrated because we just can’t seem to figure it out.

Time is passing by fast and according to our checklist, we were supposed to be knee deep in our passion by age 25.

The reality is, for some of us, this takes a bit longer than our expectations want to accept.

Sometimes giving ourselves a moment of stillness to simply do nothing is just what we need to realize that what we are passionate about has been right in front of us the entire time.

6. Forget about the money.

A dollar amount should never be the determining factor of what you do in life and if it is, more than likely you will always end up in positions doing things you’re not passionate about just to make a coin.

When you are truly passionate about something, you do it because you genuinely love doing it first, and then you figure out how to make a living from it.

7. Know that everyone won’t “get” you.

If I’ve learned one thing throughout the past few years of my twenties, it’s to limit the amount of advice I solicit from people who are not qualified to offer their counsel on what I’m doing with my life.

Some people will never “get” you or your visions and that’s okay.

It’s not for them to understand anyway.

Spend less time explaining or rationalizing your goals and dreams, and surround yourself with people who can propel you further while you’re busy working toward discovering your passion.

What do you find works best for you when figuring out your passion?

The new book from bestselling author and
founder of The Ideas Lab, John Williams

AS FEATURED IN

How to do what you love

JOIN THE PLAY REVOLUTION!

Stuck in a job that’s boring you to tears?
Slogging away at a business that’s never quite taken off?
Still can’t decide what you’d rather do?
It’s time to say ‘enough’.

The world has changed. It’s now possible for anyone to make a living from doing the things they love. The only problem is that no one has shown you how. Until now.

Based on life-changing ideas and tools proven with tens of thousands of people over the last decade, F**k Work Let’s Play is your blueprint to create a work life full of fun, freedom and creativity; something more like play than work.

Packed full of stories from people who turned a passion into a living – or even a multi-million-pound business – you’ll discover 10 secrets to transform your working life, starting today.

Learn life-changing concepts and practical strategies including:

  • A simple exercise to find out what you really enjoy doing
  • How to win your first playcheque – without quitting your current job
  • How to beat the doubts and internal blocks that hold you back
  • How you can play and get rich – even in uncertain economic times

There’s no need to suffer unfulfilling work a moment longer. Whether you want to start a business, create your ideal job, or change the world, F**k Work, Let’s Play is your guide to doing what you love and getting paid for it.

How to do what you love

FREE Resources

Download editable worksheets to find the right business idea for you, a video class on how to stand out & raise your prices, and supporting resources for the book

How to do what you love

ABOUT JOHN

John Williams is founder of The Ideas Lab, the company that has helped thousands of people to find something they love, get it started, and make a living out of it.

John started his career in creative technology as a developer on pioneering special effects software (including on-site work at Disney Feature Animation, LA) and became Digital Media CTO at a startup before moving to head up a media technology consultancy team at Deloitte. John quit, declaring he never wanted another job for the rest of his life.

John consulted independently to the BBC and other broadcasters around the world before finally founding The Ideas Lab, running a popular London event called Scanners Night, and writing his first bestselling book Screw Work, Let’s Play, now translated into 10 languages (and which led to this new revised and updated book). John is also the author of Screw Work Break Free: How to launch your own money-making idea in 30 days, published by Vermilion.

How to do what you love

Imagine you’ve agreed to give advice to a group of business students but you can’t think of a theme. Here’s a guaranteed winner: Go with “Follow your passions. and do what you love!”

That’s advice everyone loves to hear. You’ll kill.

You’ll also be wrong.

“Telling someone to follow their passion–from an entrepreneur’s point of view–is disastrous,” says Cal Newport, Georgetown University professor and author of So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Search For Work You Love. “That advice has probably resulted in more failed businesses than all the recessions combined. because that’s not how the vast majority of people end up owning successful businesses.

“Passion is not something you follow,” he adds. “Passion is something that will follow you as you put in the hard work to become valuable to the world.”

Career Passions Are Rare

It’s easy to confuse a hobby or interest for a profound passion that will result in career and business fulfillment. The reality is, that type of preexisting passion is rarely valuable.

Don’t believe me? Think about something you’re passionate about. Or were passionate about when you were in high school. Write it down.

Then apply this test: Will people pay you for it? Will they pay you a lot for it?

“Money matters, at least in a relative sense,” Newport says. “Money is a neutral indicator of value. Potential customers don’t care about your passion. Potential customers care about giving up money.”

A passion people won’t pay you for is hardly the basis for a career. It’s a hobby. You can still love your hobbies–just love them in your spare time.

The key as an entrepreneur is to identify a relevant passion.

Passion Takes Time

The “hobby” passion is much different from the kind of passion you hope to find in your business career.

“Producing something important, gaining respect for it, feeling a sense of control over your life, feeling a connection to other people–that gives people a real sense of passion,” Newport says.

Roughly speaking, work can be broken down into a job, a career, or a calling. A job pays the bills; a career is a path towards increasingly better work; a calling is work that is an important part of your life and a vital part of your identity. (Clearly most people want their work to be a calling.)

According to research, what is the strongest predictor of a person seeing her work as a calling?

The number of years spent on the job. The more experience you have the more likely you are to love your work.

Why? The more experience you have the better your skills and the greater your satisfaction in having those skills. The more experience you have the more you can see how your work has benefited others. And you’ve had more time to develop strong professional and even personal relationships with some of your employees, vendors, and customers.

Where business success is concerned, passion is almost always the result of time and effort. It’s not a prerequisite.

Passion Is a Side Effect of Mastery

The myth of the virtuoso is also a problem,” Newport says. “In the majority of cases, people didn’t think of someone who became a virtuoso as having unusual talent when they were very young.”

Instead, most highly skilled people were exposed to something in a way that made it interesting. Take music: Something (a song, an instrument, a teacher, etc.) initially inspired them. They started learning and then benefited from what Newport describes as a feedback effect.

“If you practice hard, soon you might find you’re the best in your group of students,” he says. “That’s great feedback and it motivates you to keep practicing. Then you’re one of the best in a larger group and that’s motivating too. Practice and achievement is a gradual, self-reinforcing process.”

If the work is interesting and you think there’s a market–meaning people will pay you for that work–that’s enough to get started. Then the work itself will give you the feedback you need. Creating a viable product will motivate you to develop your skills so you can refine that product or create more products. Landing one customer will motivate you to develop more skills so you can land more customers.

The satisfaction of achieving one level of success spurs you on to gain the skills to reach the next level, and the next, and the next.

And one day you wake up feeling incredibly fulfilled.

“The satisfaction of improving is deeply satisfying, as eons of craftspeople will attest,” Newport says. “The process of becoming really good at something valuable is a fulfilling and satisfying process in itself. and is the foundation for a great entrepreneurial career.”

Working Right Trumps Finding the Right Work

Want to love what you do? Pick something interesting. Pick something financially viable–something people will pay you to do or provide.

Then work hard. Improve your skills, whether at managing, selling, creating, implementing–whatever skills your business requires. Use the satisfaction and fulfillment of small victories as motivation to keep working hard.

And as you build your company, stay focused on creating a business that will eventually provide you with a sense of respect, autonomy, and impact.

“Don’t focus on the value your work offers you,” Newport says. “That’s the passion mindset. Instead focus on the value you produce through your work: how your actions are important, how you’re good at what you do, and how you’re connected to other people.”

When you do, the passion will follow–and if you work hard enough, someday you’ll be so good they can’t ignore you.

Quick note: So Good They Can’t Ignore You is the best book I read this year. If, after reading it, you aren’t motivated and excited about working hard to become incredibly good at something. hey, there’s no hope for you.

For some people, love can be used to describe almost anything. OMG, I love this iced latte! This sweater is amazing, I love it. But, what about romantic relationships? For couples in long-term relationships, love means loyalty and commitment but for college students in the center of their first real relationship, love may feel messy and complicated.

It doesn’t matter where you fall on the spectrum, whether your love life is blissful or nonexistent, it’s clear that everyone has an opinion on love and what it means in a healthy relationship.

In the hopes of coming to a more collective understanding of love, we asked 10 people in different stages of their relationship to explain what love means to them. Here’s what they had to say (their answers may surprise you).

For People That Are Not in a Relationship, Love is:

How to do what you love

Love is Security

“For me, love is the most secure feeling. Love is having a companion, best friend, lover, partner, sounding board, cheerleader, advisor, and cuddle buddy through every avenue in the journey of life.”

Love is Indescribable

“Love is a sentiment not able to be characterized by words.”

Love is About Give-and-Take

“Completely opening up and sharing your feelings and life with them daily, that’s what constitutes a healthy relationship . But, it must be mutual. If a particular area is lacking on either side of the relationship, it makes it unideal and unhealthy.”

Love is Respect

“To me, a healthy relationship is built on respect for one another. Each person understands the commitment they are making to the other person.”

Love is Being In-Sync

“A healthy relationship could describe a plethora of different types of relationships, but the most important aspect of being in a relationship is being in-sync . Whether you both talk through every hour of your waking day, or whether you agree that you’re both busy and you’ll just talk on the phone at the end of every day, as long as you both are in agreement, that is what’s important.”

Love is Commitment

“The key to success in a healthy relationship with someone is actually the terrifying but necessary effort of commitment. Being there for someone is what a real relationship needs. When we neglect to put in the effort is when things don’t work out with someone that could have been perfect for us. If you put in that extra effort for someone that can reciprocate it, love can be the greatest feeling one can ever feel.”

For Couples That Have Been Together For One Year or More, Love is:

How to do what you love

Love is Vulnerability

“Because love is scary, it’s basically giving someone a map of all your flaws and imperfections and putting faith in them to not abuse that power. And that can be so beautiful; it makes you do the hardest thing a human could ever do, be vulnerable.”

Love is “Growing Together”

“Things won’t always be great. Your partner may do things that will make you angry, but if you are willing to not look at it as obstacles, but rather as opportunities for growth, then you are truly in love .”

Love is Knowing Your S.O.’s Love Language

“ Loving better comes from knowing what makes the other person happy. For him its back scratches and hugs. For me, it’s a verbal “I appreciate you” or “You look pretty.” No matter what it is, we’ve learned to love each other better because we know what makes each other happy, and we make the effort to find new ways to make each other happy.”

Love is Healthy Communication

“When I say communicate, I don’t mean text. I mean calling and Facetiming. From experience, text creates so many opportunities for misunderstanding, and ultimately, unnecessary conflicts and trust issues. So, if I have anything to say about healthy relationships , it is to trust and communicate.”

Love is Equality

“A healthy relationship, in my eyes, is when two people are equal in a relationship. We equally love, we equally respect, and we equally care.”

For Couples in Long-Term Relationships, Love is:

How to do what you love

Love is Accepting their Flaws

We’re human beings, we’re never going to be the same, but being patient and accepting each other’s flaws is something that never stops us from growing with one another.”

Love is Patience

We aren’t always going to agree. Testing each other’s patience and still coming home to love, kindness, and respect is a feeling I never want to disappear.”