Back in 2005 Steve Jobs spoke at Stanford’s commencement and urged the graduates to find a job that would allow them to love what they do. Since then people have taken that advice and run with it. Earlier there was a post about the intersection of one’s career interests, internal calling and occupational choice. The author of Eat, Pray, Love Elizabeth Gilbert was on a podcast recently that suggests she disagrees. Gilbert essentially breaks down human activity as job, vocation and hobby. Your hobby, she explains, is one that is fulfilling and delightful no matter what—with or without monetary compensation. A job is just that; it is something people do because they have to, because they need money. And you can have another life completely outside and separate from that which is how and why she argues it is not necessary “love what you do.” Your vacation is a career you care about profoundly. Gilbert was able to write creatively because that was her vocation and so as she received rejection letters from publishers she did not let that deteriorate her self-worth or quality of life because at the end of that day she still had a job that she could pay her bills and survive off of. She explains that her success as career writer is dependent on the audience and those who invest in her writings, but vocationally no one can take away that fact that she is a writer. She will write regardless of the money made from it and that is the difference. The thing which brings you money does not have to be something you love. If you care to read the full transcript or listen to the podcast of the struggles of a creative I have pasted the link below.
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