Do what you love

“Do what you love or love what you do.”
— Grandma Wisdom

Many years ago, a friend gave me this advice from his grandmother, so I call it “Grandma Wisdom.” Prior to this, I had only heard the first part, “Do what you love.” And now I realize why it was incomplete. While sometimes I need to change jobs and even cities, other times I need to change my attitude.

Do what you love (go where you find passion and purpose) or love what you do (find passion and purpose where you are) … the important thing is to LOVE.

As a doctor, you might think that meaning and purpose are easy to find. Yet, there are things that I do not love: the administrative paperwork, the belligerent family member, the time pressure. Some days, it is easier to focus on the positive: I enjoy the puzzle of helping people find the path to wellness, connecting to people, teaching people.

Finding passion and purpose in what I do is sometimes a matter of mental gymnastics. Some random estimates say that if over 20% of you work is “unlovable” to you, then you will burn out. Sometimes, I just have to take a moment and remember what inspires me. Or sometimes, I also find hobbies and other activities to balance out my life. I remember a realtor once told me that their favorite thing about their job was finding the perfect home for a new couple and knowing that they are making a difference in someone’s happiness. That is the inspiration that carries them through the little things that aggravate them about the job. Some days I have to dig deep, sit with other people, vent … and then I’m ok. Other days, life is a dream. Strangely enough, I’m working the same job.

“Do what you love or love what you do.”
— Grandma Wisdom

Dr. Joel Ying, MD

Physician, Educator, Storyteller. He hosts this website for "Living the Present Moment" as a conscious journey of Body, Mind & Spirit. Holistic and integrative, his practice includes Tai Chi and Yoga, Craniosacral Therapy, Healing From the Core, Meditation. Always exploring his edges, he shares them in the blog, newsletter, courses, and online study group.

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