Ask yourself: If you could do anything for 8 hours a day for the rest of your life, and money were no object, what would you do?
Holidays like Independence Day give me the excuse (and reminder) to reflect on what I’m doing with my life and what I’ve done since the last milestone, such as New Year. Am I excited to do what I’m doing every day? And if not, is it me, or something else?
One of the big blessings of living in a democracy is the ability to pursue one’s own path, and the idea that anyone can pick him or herself up by the bootstraps and achieve great things. Of course, survival and success are inescapably connected to work, but we have the luxury of deciding how fun our day-to-day work is going to be. Sometimes that comes as a tradeoff for pay, but spending 1/2 your waking hours doing something you love is often well worth it. And I’m convinced that the people who are best at what they do tend to be the ones that love it the most.
The most important thing for me as a startup founder is knowing that every person I work with is excited to show up to work every day, that each is doing what he or she loves. The most amazing words I could ever hear one of our team member say (and I’m humbled to overhear it occasionally!), is, “This is the best job I’ve ever had.” And if it’s not, I’d rather help him or her find that job than help us do what we love at his or her own expense.
I’m not saying anything loads of great thinkers haven’t already said. But sometimes it’s important to remind ourselves why we’re doing what we’re doing, and to take inventory of our dreams.
As such, below are some of my favorite mushy, inspirational quotes about the intersection of passion and work:
Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt
Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” – Theodore Roosevelt
Hard work is painful when life is devoid of purpose. But when you live for something greater than yourself and the gratification of your own ego, then hard work becomes a labor of love.” – Steve Pavlina
Never work just for money or for power. They won’t save your soul or help you sleep at night.” – Marian Wright Edelman
Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming.” – John R. Wooden
Dream big and dare to fail.” – Norman Vaughan
Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs.” – Farrah Gray
It is never too late to be what you might have been.” – George Eliot
Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.” – Les Brown
And in case you’re a procrastinator like me, a bonus quote: The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now. – Chinese Proverb