Most of us don’t want a job. We don’t want to be under someone else’s control or someone else’s timeline. In fact, we don’t want to work at all. Instead, we want a career. We want a life full of passion, one that is full of a million different dreams and hobbies that we have strung together to make a living. We want to wake up every day inspired by the life that we live and eager to feel a sense of joy in our day to day tasks.
You can call it a millennial tendency, but I think that deep in the heart of every person lies a desire to do great things that matter. We were created in God’s likeness, which means that each of us has a spark of greatness and a need to create, just like our Heavenly Father. All those buzz words above, passion and inspiration – that’s the way we define our dream life. When we imagine using our unique skills and talents to craft a career, we imagine a life full of motivation and a constant sense of our purpose that comes along with doing things that we love.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but we’ve all accepted the lie that living your purpose is always going to feel purposeful. I have my dream career, right now, at age 24 (aka very much a millennial). I am my own boss, I own a business that I absolutely love, and I get to work as a teacher trainer for Pure Barre Corporate, too. I get to make my own schedule and work from home when I want to. My wardrobe consists of high-end workout clothes that feel more comfortable than your favorite pajamas. When I need to travel, I don’t have to take a sick day or paid time off; I simply book my flights. I know, without a doubt, that I am using my skills in the way God wants me to right now. However, I absolutely do not feel purposeful or motivated on a daily basis.
Now, before you come to the conclusion that I’m just ungrateful, let me clarify. I love my work, and I realized how blessed I am to do something that I love. The misunderstanding lies in the falsehood of comparison. We think that if we had our dream career, we wouldn’t experience the difficulty that we currently experience when it comes to motivation. We believe that, if we were doing purposeful work that we loved, we would always be raring to go, eager to jump out of bed and start the day. But here’s the truth – working to achieve your dream career is actually going to be more difficult, take more of your time, and come with more disappointments.
Why? Because everything is on the line. When you’re working for someone else, you have a cushion. Maybe it’s the emotional cushion of knowing that you can leave your work at the office when 5:00 pm strikes. Maybe it’s the financial cushion of receiving a regular paycheck or health benefits. When you are working for yourself and pushing to achieve your dream, your days will be longer. Work will follow you everywhere. You may have to come home from a full day of your “job” and taking care of your family and then sit down at 9:00 pm to work on your side hustle that is your real dream. The road is going to be unconventional at best, but oh so worth it.
Ultimately, this post is for everyone who doesn’t feel like working but really loves dreaming. The truth is that living your dream is the hardest kind of work because it requires your whole heart and your constant devotion. I have days where I feel run down and burnt out, but then I’ll get a glimmer of purpose or encouragement and push myself to keep hustling. In order to live a life full of great things, we have to work hard. There’s no roundabout route to take that truth away. So buck up, dig your heels in, and work when you don’t feel like working. The results may not be immediate, but good habits always bear fruit.