Is it work if it’s fun?

Anyone on a deeply spiritual journey knows a major part of the journey involves looking deeply into issues, emotional blocks etc. As the U.S. has lurched through four years of crises and scandals it has become ever more clear to me that we as a society have issues and blocks to address — many of which are so pervasive they also show up as our personal and ancestral issues. One of them I’ve contemplated often is our general view of work.

I watched a news piece about a woman with her own business the other day. She picks up and delivers dogs who’ve been adopted from out of state and she loves it. Loves it so much she said “it doesn’t feel like work”. It struck me how often I’ve heard that.

On my own journey I realized long ago that that attitude correlates with a general belief that work is “supposed” to be hard, unpleasant; something you must do to eke out a living that will probably barely support you. When I quit practicing law, which I loathed but made a pretty good living at, and began doing things I loved, I instantly began to fail.

It kept going for a long time, even after recognizing that I held deep beliefs about the impossibility of financially succeeding at something you love to do. For me it also turned out my health issues needed to take precedence, but I haven’t forgotten the import of the belief work must be an unpleasant struggle.

Ever since, I’ve noticed how most people talk about work in this country. Yes, there are people who love their work and speak enthusiastically, but there’s a widespread belief among many that work has to be an unhappy drudge. When I heard this woman sounding guilty about her pleasure in the business she’s created out of her love of dogs, I felt really struck about how deep that strain of thinking goes in our society.

Imagine what a shift in that one set of beliefs would do to change the world. If everyone believed it’s possible and okay to find something you love to do or to find a way to love whatever you do for work, wow, how different things would be.