Doing What You Love vs Loving What You Do

I know this sounds like the same thing but if you stop and think about it it’s not. I was driving around in my bus yesterday, thinking about what I was going to write on this week, and I started thinking about my job instead.

As you all know, I drive a bus for a living. It’s what puts food on the table and keeps a roof over our heads and there are days I absolutely hate it and other days that are so amazing I can’t imagine doing anything else. It was one of those days, a day where I was really enjoying my job,  that made me think of this title and how it was reflected in what I do.

Loving what you do for a living can mean the difference of getting up in the morning with a smile on your face, eager to face the day because you get to go to work. Not everyone gets to this happy place in their life. Many people work at boring, dead end jobs with no better prospects on the horizon and work is a drudgery that is loathed and avoided whenever possible. I have had jobs like that and I remember finding any reason I could to call off so I didn’t have to be there. That is a sad state of affairs, since most of us need a steady income to survive on, and if you hate your job it just makes it all that much harder.

I was fortunate enough to find a job that combined something I enjoy (driving) with something I need (money) and so for the past 18 years I have pretty much been happy to go to work each day. My job offers a lot of variety since I am out with the general public all day and they can be pretty entertaining! I’m not stuck in an office staring at four walls nor do I have my boss breathing down my neck. I drive around town and enjoy beautiful weather most days and I get to talk to people. Some of them even talk back!

So how is loving what you do different from doing what you love? When my youngest daughter turned three I knew I needed to go back to work. At that time I didn’t have a lot of job skills that would get me a job that would actually support us so I looked around at what was offered and saw an ad in the local paper for classes for school bus drivers. I realized it would fit the need–it paid money when you got hired–and it would also be taking advantage of the one skill I had that I did very well. I am a very good driver and really enjoy it so it seemed like a win-win to me. I eventually got a job with a local school district and then later went on to driving transit bus. I love what I do, but I’m not doing what I love.

If I was doing what I love I would not be living here in this town for one thing. I would be living somewhere closer to the beach, and I would be doing one of three things–writing, taking pictures, or training dogs.

Photography has always been a passion of mine. I love to take pictures of scenery especially and have many photos from trips that look like they should be in a coffee table book. Yes, I’m just that good! If I could figure out a way to make a living taking pictures and letting the world see itself through my camera lens I would be very very happy.

Or I would be writing. I would be able to spend each day creating stories about the people who live in my head and writing them down for the world to enjoy. These scribblings would pay well enough that I could quit my day job and devote myself to writing.

And lastly, there is my love for animals, especially dogs. I use to train dogs when I was younger and I am quite good at it. I would love to have a doggy day care where I could care for dogs, train them and work with them and their owners so that no dog finds itself locked in a cage at the pound because the owner couldn’t figure out how to get their pet to quit barking or tearing up the laundry or peeing in the house. It breaks my heart to see so many good dogs destroyed each year because people just don’t know how to live with them. They try to make them into little people instead of embracing the very thing that makes them a dog and therefore wonderful in their own right!

These are examples of doing what I love. I have many more things of course, but these are the three main ones that would be my choice if I could do what I love and make a living at it.

I’m fortunate that I love what I do for a job. I’m also fortunate that I can indulge myself sometimes in doing the things I love as I have time for them.

So the question today is–are you loving what you do or doing what you love? Or maybe you are doing both! If you aren’t, why not? What’s stopping you? Did you take a career path you thought you would enjoy and have found that  it’s terrible but it’s too late to change?  What would it take for you to go from loving what you do to doing what you love? How big would that leap of faith be? I’m pretty sure that at this stage in my life I can’t drop everything and pursue a career in photography. Nor do I have the money to open a dog facility and take in troubled dogs. Oh wait, I do that now! Never mind!

So tell me what makes you happy. And are you doing anything to make yourself happy?! Share…