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It's Never Too Late To Stop Doing Work You Hate

Aug 17, 2007
Most people do work that they feel ill-suited to do. Over time, this aversion turns into hatred.

Consequently, most people are miserable at their jobs. And since they spend most of their day working, they are miserable most of the time.

This is such an ancient problem that it is even mentioned in the Bhagavad Gita.

In this classical poem that dates back many thousands of years, the divine charioteer Krishna says to the deluded warrior Arjuna: "Better one's own duty (dharma) devoid of merit than another's (duty) well performed. Better death in fulfilling one's own duty, another's duty is full of fear." (3.35)

When you see someone actually following this principle, you find a happy person. It's a rare sight.

They are happy because they have not betrayed themselves. They have the energy of authentic power and true self-expression, and it shows. You intuitively know that even if they have started out poorly, they will end up in a very good place fairly soon.

The difference between doing work you ought to do because it masquerades as an opportunity and work that you want to do because it represents your true interests is life changing.

This is dramatically interested in the story of Oprah Winfrey.

Before she graduated with a degree from college, Oprah was offered a full-time job as a reporter in Baltimore, Maryland. She was forced to decide between the job and graduating. She chose the job. It was "a great opportunity."

She soon found that she was awful at it. Intellectually, she could not refrain from commenting. Emotionally, she could not refrain from crying over the sad stories she had to cover. She simply could not be objective, no matter how hard she tried. At the age of twenty-two, she was fired from her job as a reporter.

However, her boss set her up for a job as a co-host of a morning show called "People Are Talking."

After her first show, she knew that she was in her element. She made the little-known show popular, and it launched her into becoming the person we now know and love.

Work with your strengths, forget your weaknesses.

There isn't enough time to be well-rounded and it isn't rewarding enough. It's wiser to do work you love and evolve to ever higher levels of it.

Why do so few people do work that they love?

It's always because the "wrong" work always comes disguised as an opportunity and the "right" work as a challenge. It's a little trick life plays on us, and most people fall for it time and again.

Over time, the dream gets fainter and fainter. And they get better and better at doing that which they could not care less about.

I repeat: work with your strengths, forget your weaknesses. Do it before it's too late and the dream becomes a regret. You have only so much time and energy available before your twilight years, and even those are never guaranteed.

This is not popular advice.

Since childhood we have been taught to make a supreme effort to work with our weakness and not focus on our strengths. If you're good at English, but poor at Math, you're exhorted to spend the bulk of your effort improving your Math.

The idea does have merit. You can be more balanced.

In school, it may be important to be balanced. In character development, it may help to be balanced. But in the world of work, following this ingrained habit is the root cause of most people's unhappiness. It's what makes the life of quiet desperation possible.

After many years of ingrained education, you can find this discipline of trying to compensate for weakness still operating in the consciousness of most working people. Like a background piece of malignant software, it's ruining their lives.

In fact, you can tell at once that they're operating under this rule.

How do you know? They're miserable at their jobs. At a glance, you can see that they're doing work that they have little interest in and even less talent and ability for.

Set aside your fear. Stop doing work you hate. Start doing work you love. You're worth it.
About the Author
Saleem Rana would love to share his inspiring ideas. His book Never Ever Give Up tells you how. It is offered at no cost as a way to help YOU succeed. http://www.theempoweredsoul.com
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