“I don’t think of work as work and play as play. It’s all living”
– Sir Richard Branson
We all have been told at least once in our lifetime that in order to succeed, we would need to work hard. Whilst few would refute that advice, somewhere along the way, most of us learned to misinterpret it as something along the lines of “If you want to succeed, there’s absolutely no room for play “. Fortunately for us, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
While hard work is certainly necessary to attain success, there is another crucial ingredient that we must add unto the mix to take it a step further and successfully blur the line between work and play. We must be willing to make the decision to pursue and invest our time and effort to do the things we love. This is because when we pursue work that we believe in, we will no longer perceive time we spend on our work and play as two separate things – it’s all living.
If we’re honest to ourselves we innately know that in order to attain fulfilling success, whether we like or not, that we must take a leap of faith and choose to work on our passion(s). Yet, most of us still insist to go through life running away from taking a chance on pursuing our dreams. We come up with a slew of reasons as to why investing time and/ or effort on it is nothing but a terrible idea. We tell ourselves that it is impossible for us to make enough money for us to live on let alone accumulating a decent level of wealth by doing the things we love to do. In the end, we find ourselves opting to play it safe and stay in the job that we are not really passionate about for the security of a pay check, status and/ or prestige. In contrast, highly successful people, Sir Richard Branson included, have openly attest to the fact based on their own experiences that if you are brave enough to pursue your passion(s) and persists to do what you love, the rest, including money will follow. All work consists of some sort of stress but as stressful as it gets, when we are invested in doing the things we enjoy to do – it doesn’t seem to deter us from committing our time and effort to it. When we do what we love, we actually feel excited to get to work in the morning and no longer live only for the weekend.
In the last decade, I’ve taken multiple leap of faiths when it comes to my career, choosing only jobs that I believe to resonate with my passions. I stayed true to my values and worked on what I truly believed in regardless of its pay. One job in particular, a position in a non-profit/ social organization to which I was also a founding member of, even required me to contribute money from my own pocket to get it off the ground and help it grow it to the flourishing organization it is today. Whilst it is true that these jobs have demanded for me to make short term sacrifices, I wouldn’t have done things differently if I were to be given a chance for a “re-take” in life. These experiences have been nothing short of priceless and they have inspired as well as convinced me to continue to embrace my passions and to keep pursuing my dreams.
As Steve Jobs, the late Apple Co-founder, CEO and Chairman, said “The only way to do great work is to love what you do“. Dare to do great work. Choose to work on what you believe in and do what you love because only then can you blur the lines between work and play and live a truly successful and fulfilling life.