by Dan Oshinsky on October 24, 2012
“There’s always better. There’s always faster. There’s always more. But there will never be another now.” — Dustin Curtis
A question I’ve gotten a lot this year:
How do you know?
How do you know when you’re doing something you really, really love? How do you know when you’re doing the work that’s meant for you?
The answer is a strange one: You just kind of know.
Here’s how I knew with Stry.us: At the end of last year, things were starting to ramp up with the project. Then my family asked me to join them out west to go skiing for a few days. I took a week off. And after a few days, I found myself on a chairlift thinking a very strange thought.
That night, I wrote this note to myself:
“I had a weird sensation today. I was on the slopes, skiing. And I realized: I shouldn’t be here. I should be working.
“I actually WANT to be working right now. Rather than skiing.”
It was a strange feeling. It was the first time in my life that I can ever remember wanting not to vacation.
My work, I realized, was just more fun.
The more I talk to people who do work that they love, the more I hear that same refrain: At some point, I just knew. I wish there was a better way to measure it, but I haven’t found it just yet.
When it’s right, there’s something that finally just clicks inside of you.
So if you’re searching for the right work, make sure you listen to yourself. If you find yourself telling friends that you can’t go out for a drink because you’ve got some work you really want to do, then you’re doing something you love.
If you find yourself setting your alarm earlier in the morning so you can squeeze more work into your day, you’re doing something you love.
And if you’re considering flying home from a ski vacation on New Year’s Eve so that you can get back to work — well, you’re definitely doing something you love.
But if you’re not getting that feeling — that sense that what you’re doing is so important and so awesome that everything else should go on hold — then maybe it’s time to start searching for new work.
That photo at top comes via.