What Are You Working For?

Rosa Say has a wonderful post over at lifehack.org entitled Why Work?:

Imagine something with me for a moment. You are unbelievably wealthy and debt-free. You don’t have to work for the income it brings you, but still, you do work. Because you aren’t concerned with the amount of your paycheck, you are able to choose the work you want to do for the pure joy and pleasure of it. What would you choose? What would you do?

reader-guyThis type of exercise is a great way to get a handle on where you are, what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and what you’d like to be doing. So many of us wait for some future time and circumstance to choose to do our ideal work. Unfortunately for most of those waiting for the perfect time to take the plunge, that time never comes.

We all have a choice, whether we believe it or not. There are no wrong answers, and no one to answer to but yourself.

Take some time over the weekend and ponder Rosa’s questions. Think about the type of work you’d choose to do if there were no other concerns. If you didn’t have to work, how would you spend your time and contribute to the world. The answers to those questions, will tell you a lot about yourself, and what you might be missing.


  1. Thank you for adding to the discussion Tony. When we look to gain pleasure from working, making the choices which are the right ones for us, work simply rocks – it adds to our lives in magnificent ways. People will tell me, “You never stop working, do you” and my response will be, “If you were having this much fun, and feeling so great about what you do, would you want to stop?”

    Fortunately, I made the right choices when it came to my work. What you say here is so true: “We all have a choice, whether we believe it or not. There are no wrong answers, and no one to answer to but yourself.” And the great thing? When we are working within our passions, the income miraculously does follow. Sometimes it comes to us as ‘currency’ of some sort versus what we think of as income, but the result is still our gain!

  2. Thanks, Rosa. And you’re right about the income miraculously following.

    Another thing is opportunities seem to flood in. It’s like once you’ve made the decision to follow your ideal work and passion, that you remove the dam, and things just start flowing naturally.

  3. Tony, It is a great question and I’ve been wrestling with it personally for quite a while. I have a good job. But I don’t have passion for it. Unfortunately I can’t seem to put my finger on what it is I would truly love doing. It’s a bit frustrating.

  4. Hi Chris – I know how hard that can be. I see folks dealing with it all the time. Here are a couple of things to try:

    1 – Forget about passions related to work for a minute – and even better, let’s not call them passions. Just ask yourself, what makes life worth living? What must I have in my life to be absolutely fulfilled? That is a great place to start from.

    2 – Ask how you can best use your own unique talents and genius to be of service to others. Take yourself out of the equation. Look at what you can offer.

    Then listen. Things will start to point to a path or some opportunities will, as Rosa said, miraculously show up. These are my not-so-secret weapons in helping people find their ideal work.

    Thanks for stopping and contributing to the conversation.

  5. I quit my job recently because I really did not want to continue working for that company or doing that job. The industry was not where I wanted to be. I quit without having a new one to go to. My philosophy is that you always have a choice. If you don’t like your job, quit. Do something. Anything. But don’t continue being unhappy.

    I going to do web design and internet marketing for small businesses. Mind you, I’m in a country where internet marketing isn’t very big and developed yet, so I’m one of a few people with internet marketing knowledge.

    And I’m going to design websites for schools and NGOs/CBOs for free.

    That’s what I really want to do. And I’m doing it.

  6. I coucur. Just free your mind from thinking too much and the answers will come as to the direction to take.

    I once wrote a poem about doing just this as it relates to writing poetry. It follows:

    A Poetic-22

    Respect for verse
    Becomes a curse
    With written words delayed
    By doubt much overstayed…
    A blank piece of paper looks back at me.

    Spontaneous expressions
    And subconscious dimensions
    Yield written words displayed
    With doubts tucked nicely away…
    A poetic masterpiece looks back at me.


  7. Sherwin – Congrats on making the leap. It sounds like you’ve made some really powerful life decisions, and I can tell by the tone of your comment that you’re excited about your future. That’s an awesome place to be.

    Buck – What a wonderfully insightful poem. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Comments are closed.