the book the happiness hypothesis talks about fulfillment in relation to our work. there are three ways most people approach their work: as a job, a career or a calling.
what’s a job? you do it for the money. you watch the clock and dream about the weekend. Friday gets you excited. you likely pursue hobbies which satisfy your needs more so than your work.
what’s a career? you have high goals. you seek promotion and prestige. you seek status.
what’s a calling? your work is intrinsically fulfilling. you’re passionately following that which lights your fire within. you do it because it is meaningful and you’re not doing it to achieve anything else. it seems obvious to you that you’re contributing to the greater good. you frequently experience “flow” and sometimes don’t know what day or time it is. it doesn’t matter. you’ll continue to work, perhaps without pay, if you suddenly become very wealthy.
what kind of work do you do? what kind of work do you want to do?
Writing is my art. I love to dream, think big, turn impossibility into possibility, touch the lives of others, and write my life as I go. I write for understanding. I write to process the ideas and thoughts that come to me each day. I write to inspire others to act toward their dreams too.
Steve Jobs said, “Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart."
On that note, one of my favorite questions to ask people is "What do you wish to do before you die?”
Why? Because beyond simply learning “what” this person hopes to achieve, you’ll gain insight into why they exist.