Vail Daily column: Doing what you love, loving what you do
Ryan Summerlin May 28, 2014
Country recording artist Clay Walker’s song “If I Could Make a Living out of Loving You” is an awesome reminder to think about what it is that we do each and every day. Whether it’s personally or professionally, we should be striving to do what we love and love what we do.
The full verse from his song goes like this: “If I could make a livin’ out of lovin’ you, I’d be a millionaire in a week or two, I’d be doing what I love and lovin’ what I do, if I can make a livin’ out of lovin’ you.”
One of my very favorite conversations to have with someone is when they share their passion for what they do for a living, for themselves, for their family or even recreation and fun. You can absolutely tell when someone is doing what they love and loving what they do through their body language, tonality of what they are saying and the colorful or powerful words that they actually use while sharing life’s exciting moments. Purpose is so meaningful and passion is so very powerful.
Unhappy with what you do?
My other favorite conversation or discussion to have with someone is when they are not doing what they love and loving what they do. They share stories of discontent, misery and just plain old unhappiness. They could be unhappy with their job, their family life, and they have not found any time or anything to do that gets where excitement, purpose or passion would have an opportunity to take root in their lives.
Now in the first group it’s both fun and energizing for me to have conversations with people who share their enthusiasm with such joy. Sometimes their enthusiasm and passion become contagious, and I find myself re-energized to pursue my own purpose and passions with even more zeal. The second group is really no different because it provides me with an opportunity to help them self-discover behaviors and attitudes that will lead them to a different way of thinking.
You see, it’s not about the title we hold or the job we have, and it’s not about our lives compared to the lives of others. It comes down to how we feel about our productivity, our effort, our enjoyment and our attitude that matters. Let me share an example with you. Years ago when I was visiting a customer on a very regular basis, I could not help but notice how immaculately clean their building was. There was never a piece of paper on the floor, never any dust on the objects or plants in the lobby, and their floors always shined brilliantly as if the fresh coat of wax was just applied.
One day as I waited in the lobby for my meeting, I met the man who was responsible for the appearance of the building He was in his janitorial coveralls, working with precision detail as he worked his broom and dust rag. I decided to have a conversation with him and started by thanking him for the way he made the building look. I shared with him that I believed that the employees and visitors alike must surely feel a sense of pride when they come in because the place was sparkling clean all the time.
With a huge smile and warm handshake the man thanked me and told me he had been employed by the company for the past 10 years. And he shared that most people that worked there often thanked him and commented on his ability to make the place shine. When I asked if he liked his job, he smiled again and replied in an instant with, “Man, I love my job, and I am grateful for my job.”
I have met ski instructors, CEOs, nurses, shoe shine vendors, pizza makers, teachers, police officers, firemen, sales people, accountants, massage therapists, personal trainers, retailers, business owners and people from all walks of life who do what they love and love what they do. And I have met others who do something they hate and hate what they do. That is until we have had a chance to have a conversation where we can focus on purpose, passion, gratitude and attitude. Now I can never say that I have a 100 percent success rate when having these conversations, but even if one out of 100 had some level of self-discovery and started to do what they love and love what they do personally or professionally, then I consider that my purpose and I am extremely passionate about it.
Are you doing what you love and loving what you do? I would love to hear all about it at firstname.lastname@example.org. And when we have purpose and live with passion, it will be a better than good week.
Michael Norton is a strategic consultant, business and personal coach and motivational speaker, and CEO of www.candogo.com. He writes a weekly motivational column for the Vail Daily.