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Work to live, live to work

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I used to think it was a bad thing to keep my computer on my bed just to wake up to work some more. Or to be falling asleep while having my best thoughts just to get back up and write them down again.

No, I don’t think this is the best way to live.

But I think it’s a beautiful thing to love what you do.

A Bucknell professor once told me the best times to write are in the shower and behind the wheel. I’ve found that it’s not only the best way to write, it’s the best way to work. It’s no secret that your best ideas come from times of leisure, or over a casual conversation and a glass of wine.

 

Love to work.

There’s been a huge generational discussion if whether “pursuing our dreams” is a reality. Should we do what we’re passionate for, or should we do what is practical?

Couldn’t tell you.

But I can tell you a generation of people going into the financial industry because it pays a bigger buck also doesn’t yield many results. Do you watch the West Wing? I do. In season 2, Ainsley Hayes asks the White House Counsel why he left his six-figure job in Chicago to work for the President. “Duty.”

As a recent grad, I’m feeling the tugs of reality lately. Damn, should have gone into something else. Even though I knew quite well that the path of journalism wouldn’t be easy financially. I wanted to follow my dream. I feel a sense of duty when it comes to journalism.

After speaking to a friend yesterday who chose to go to med school and pursue his MBA – I realized it’s no easier for anyone else. While I’m “broke” because journalism jobs are few and far between and don’t pay too much, Mr. Med School is “broke” in debt facing a medical career that also doesn’t pay like it used to. But even beyond that, I also spent the morning with a fellow unemployed former financial analyst, who is not at all broke but still in the same situation I am – the situation of trying to make it all work.

Gone are the days that we’re defined by our work.

In our lifetimes, we’ll have to wear many hats. And pursuing a dream is difficult when the reality of our dreams is much harsher than we hoped. So the true answer is this: We’ll never find success, or what we want, if we’re so particular about what our lives should look like that we deny ourselves a chance to explore, to find our purpose and sense of duty.

We’ll never really know what we want out of life.

We’ll only really know what we don’t want by trial and error. By wearing many hats. By digging right in to the dirty, gritty, harsh truths of life. And by figuring out that the more we work to be that better person, the more we’ve fulfilled our duty by making this world a bit better than we left it.

Very few of us have it all figured out from the get go.

The rest of us can take comfort in knowing: We’re just going to have to keep digging.

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