What It Means to Do What You Love

One of my favorite shows on television is House. Part of its appeal is that the audience can oftentimes feel like it is a part of the team, unraveling the puzzle alongside the diagnostic professionals at Princeton Plainsboro Teaching Hospital in New Jersey. The other appeal is the unorthodox, manipulative, and misanthropic nature of the title character. But none of these is why I am writing about the show today.

Instead, I was inspired by a very brief quote by patient Kendall Pearson on the most recent episode just this past Monday. The teenager was set to become the youngest person ever to circumnavigate the globe; she’d been sailing since she was ten years old and this was going to be the culmination of all that practice and determination. That is, until a medical condition befell her and she ended up in the hospital.

While there, she tells one of the team members that there is much to hate about sailing. She dislikes being wet and cold. She dislikes the freeze-dried food. However, she still loves sailing, describing exactly what it means to do what you love:

“Sailing is amazing, but [it] doesn’t mean I love every second on the boat. Doing what you love means dealing with things you don’t. If there is nothing to overcome, it would not be that…”

Her line gets cut short as she’s suddenly hit with a medical emergency, but you get the gist of it. There’s a misconception out there that to “do what you love,” you have to love every moment of it. You have to love the entirety of what that career entails. Well, that can’t possibly be true for the vast majority of us.

You can, however, find a career wherein the parts you love far outweigh the parts that you don’t. You won’t only be doing what you want, but the parts that you love will make your choice worth it. Do I enjoy dealing with the accounting and logistical matters that go along with running a small business? No, but I do enjoy the other perks of my career choice and I’m willing to deal with the tasks that I may not enjoy quite as much.

They say that you can simply do what you love and the money will follow. That’s not true either, but it does not mean that you shouldn’t do what you love. You just have to prepare yourself for the things that aren’t so great. If there is nothing to overcome, it would not be that gratifying.