Allow me to kick this riff off with recognizing how lucky some of us are. I'm not talking about hot hands at dice, wild poker streaks or betting against a cooler (sorry Jimbo). This is about the good fortune of being able to recognize the benefits of doing work that's personally meaningful. To have realized that it's possible to do work that we love for a living is a critical first step. But to find and actively do such labor puts us in a tiny fraction of people worldwide. I couldn't find specifics stats but odds are the vast majority of workers would rather be doing something else. A friendly reminder, the work you love may not be your day job or primary income, at least not yet.
There are a handful of varied views about doing work that we most enjoy:
- There's a group that isn't doing what they care about for a living. This group doesn't believe it's possible to find work that they love, or that work by definition has to be something we loathe or tolerate in order to yield maximum financial reward. Let's call this group the non-believers*
- The second group isn't doing what they love for a living, but they see others who love what they do and believe it's possible. But for this group, they can't imagine shifting their primary work to something they care deeply for. I'll label this group skeptics
- The third group isn't doing what they love for a living yet, but are on their way to doing so with self motivated projects. They believe the greatest path to generating real wealth is spending most of their time doing meaningful work they enjoy. Let's call this group the journeymen^
- The last group is doing what they love and actively working to enable other folks to do the same. While they suffer job stress and over work themselves, the alignment of labor and personal meaning is super fuel that makes them unstoppable. Let's call this group enlightened leaders
What do Enlightened Leaders strive for?
If you have found or crafted your dream job, and are doing work that matters, where do you go next? I assume enlightened leaders actively try to help others realize the powerful life path that they are living proof of. But they're not shouting loud enough for all of us to hear, or they realize we have to figure it out for ourselves. It's gotta be frustrating for people like Seth, Kevin, Fred, Robert, Louis and any of the other folks I have had the pleasure of connecting with to keep on calling out their deeply satisfying work and not having anyone pick up. Thousands or millions of us tune in, but many miss the encoded signal¥. They should all know their message is coming through loud and clear, but it takes us normal folks a little time to follow their lead ;).
*= heh, gotta love the spiritual spin from the agnostic
^= I fall into the journeymen category
¥= The "do work that matters" mantra is not so encoded for Seth, he cuts to the chase in his writings, evident in his latest work Lynchpin.