Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Focus on What You Love to Create Change

I've talked several times about the importance and benefits of focusing on doing what one loves. As a writer, I am lucky I get to spend my days playing with words. I love writing. I love playing with words. I love creating works that affect people's lives.

Recently, I read a blog post, Make a Shift - Spend More Time on Things You Love, by Steven Cox about doing what one loves. Steve includes a really cool visual representation on his page that shows how most of our lives are lived and how we should strive to live our lives focusing on doing the things we love. Go ahead and take a look, just don't forget to come back. (Some of you may remember me mentioning Steve last year in a blog post, Embracing the Incredible.)

As someone who spends my day doing what I love, I sometimes forget how disheartening it can feel to spend one's day focused on things one hates. I have occasional moments in life like this. Cleaning house, particularly toilets, doing the taxes, and filing are among chores I don't particularly enjoy doing. Still, when they're done I always feel better. And, I always have something to look forward to when I'm working on these projects I don't enjoy because I get to spend the majoity of my time focused on something I love doing.

I started thinking about people I know who don't do what they love. They spend their days doing what they have to do to get by. Some of them started out doing what they love, but life took them in other directions or their passions changed. Those people are always struggling to find the good in life. They tend to be negative and pessimistic. They rarely have much to give other people and may even become drains on their current relationships. They are searching so hard for something to fill the empty spaces, they can't even see it when something good comes their way.

I have been guilty of this at times in my life, so I recognize it. I found what I love to do though, and I do it, so I tend to push people to find what they love and go after it. People who are focused on doing things they hate can't even see the possibilities inherent in life to pursue their dreams. They become trapped by the potential pitfalls and obstacles without ever taking a step forward. Again, I recognize this because I've been guilty of it.

People who spend their days doing what they love are more interesting and fun than people whose days are focused on doing things they hate. They tend to have more positive attitudes drawing people to them and attracting success.

When my days are filled with things I don't particularly enjoy doing, I try finding something I can feel grateful for in the midst of all the hated chores. Sometimes it's something as simple as the dishes I'm washing or clean sheets. Sometimes it's something more substantial like a tax refund or discovering money I didn't know a stock had earned. And, always, there's the reward that as soon as I'm done with the chore I don't enjoy I can return to working on what I love doing.

All I know is that when I do what I love, life is better. When I don't, life is not quite as good. When I do what I love, I feel more positive and hopeful. When I don't, I feel like life isn't worth my time. Focusing most of one's time on what one loves doesn't mean life will be perfect, but perfection is overrated anyway. Focusing on what one loves provides hope when life doesn't feel fair. And, hope is often all one needs to move forward....

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