The hustle isn’t bad, as long as you love it: debunking the myth
Work-life balance: where’s the sweet spot? Charli Edwards of LoveThat defends the hustle and insists that finding a job you love need not be unfulfilling.
Choosing a job you love doesn’t mean you’ll never work; it means you’ll work harder because you care about what you do. / Peggy Anke
Ah, Confucius. The wise, ancient philosopher and human quote generator. One of his most famous lines, beloved by high school yearbooks and motivational posters alike, goes like this: “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”. Sounds relieving, right? But here’s the twist: it’s about as accurate as my ability to reverse park (which, as you can probably guess, is terrible).
As an enthusiastic bell-ringer for ‘Job Love Appreciation Day’ (not a real holiday, but it should be), I can tell you firsthand that being passionate about your job doesn't mean you're exempt from challenging days, pitfalls, or even poor reverse parking skills (honestly, watch me in the office car park).
However, picking a profession that gets your heart rate up is not only personally fulfilling, but also fuels success and growth.
Shaming hard work can get in the bin
First, let’s address the elephant in the room: the myth around the supposed trade-off between loving one’s job and, dare I say, embracing the hustle.
Yes, society, I’ll concede that good ol’ Confucius did not say, “pursue thy passion, and thou shalt work thy behind off whilst simultaneously achieving contentment.” Nevertheless, it’s crucial to understand that choosing a job you love doesn’t mean you’ll never work. It means you’ll work harder because you care about what you do deeply (and caring is a full-time commitment).
Let’s talk about the ongoing social media crusade against eagerly investing in one’s career. In this age of glorifying the “I’m just here so I don’t get fined” approach, thumbing your nose at dedicated work ethics might rack up the ‘likes’, but it's no way to build a fulfilling life.
Trust me, nothing makes you feel more alive than facing a challenging task head-on and conquering it like a caffeinated superhero. Call me old-fashioned, but give me triumphant fist pumps over passive shoulder shrugs any day of the week. To put the cat among the pigeons, “hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard” – so said high school basketball coach Tim Notke.
It’s ok to have bad days
I’ll admit that working through demanding circumstances isn’t always a walk in the park (more like a sprint through a minefield with google maps on the fritz).
Nevertheless, my passion for the job gives me the energy to tackle challenges with determination and energy (please note, copious amounts of carbonated beverages and chicken nugs may also play a role in said energy).
I do declare
I fully support the philosophy of finding balance in one’s life and if you can help it, don’t do something just for the money – even if it means a pay cut. But equally, make space for the ‘grinders’ in society who choose to embrace a job they love without having to worry about being shamed for their hustle.
So, to misquote Confucius entirely, “choose a job you love, and you’ll have the energy to work through the hard days”. Don’t let societal pressures dictate whether or not you find fulfillment in your life’s work. Advocate for change, respect one another’s choices and, remember, sometimes, loving your job is the secret ingredient for that sweet taste of success (mastering reverse parking can wait).
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