There was a time when armies of people marched into factories every day to clock in, toil for the day (or night), then clock out (and hit the pub most likely). If you’d asked them whether they loved their work, most of them would have given you a funny look… love this work? What? Really?
A generation (or two, or three) after the mass march into the factories, most people still march into one form of unloved work or another. Most people would still look at you funny if you asked them if they loved their work.
But there’s a growing number of people who have had enough of wasting vast swathes of their life doing something that they fundamentally don’t like. And look how much time the average person does spend working. If you add the work hours every week (40 plus usually), to the commuting time, to the preparation time and the recovery time, then add time outside work when you worry about work, or moan about work, or dream about other work… where do you get to? It’s a wonder anyone has any time to eat and sleep around here… never mind do stuff that they love.
This means that if you want to spend more time in your life doing stuff that you love, then what you do for work is the lowest hanging fruit. But what’s changed? Surely we’d all be doing work that we loved if we could. Do you think we do this mindless job for the fun of it? No, there’s no choice, and we have responsibilities.
Well, a lot’s changed in a relatively short amount of time. Most people have more choice about what they do for a living. We’re more mobile now. Both in terms of moving more easily (often to college and then to our place of work). And in terms of moving more rapidly between jobs. Gone is the career for life. And even the idea of a ‘career’ is on its way out. What’s required by the world of work is more short-term: a quick answer to today’s need. Which can mean great job insecurity, but also huge opportunity for those who can meet the new needs.
Technology has changed, and is changing. Technologies are making it vastly easier to set up businesses, create products and services, find audiences and advertise to them in very targeted (and cost-effective) ways. Add all this together and you get one Huge Invitation: to have a crack at doing what you love, AND making a living from it.
I’ve been talking about saying ‘F**k It’ and doing what you love for 10 years now. But I’ve never seen so many people receptive to that message as now. And I’ve never known a time when there’s been this much opportunity.
And that’s why I add the ‘F**k It’ to the ‘Do What You Love’ in the title of my new book. People are often having to step out of established careers in order to do what they love. They are often giving up on paths they’ve forged, flying in the face of expectations others might have of them.
So it takes a great big ‘F**k It’ to make the jump and start to find and do something you’re passionate about. It takes a F**k It to summon up that courage, it takes a F**k It to stay strong in the face of the naysayers, it takes a F**k It to persevere when the path is difficult.
‘F**k It’ helps the process of Doing What You Love because it adds the grit that you need in order to veer off the safe path and make your own path.
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