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Chris Dunmire : Doing What You Like and Liking What You Do

Doing What You Like & Liking What You Do

Part 1: Is it Possible?

By Chris Dunmire

Nit Wits #1: Roll PlayThink about three people who have careers that you would love to have. You know, a job or life's work that looks fun and exciting, fulfilling and meaningful — and pays well, if that's important to you.

Who are your people?

I'll tell you who mine are:

  • Robin Williams: Writer/Teacher/Graphic Design Guru. Author of many how-to desktop publishing, design, and software books. A college instructor with a great sense of humor and highly regarded in the design field.
  • Roberta Allen: Writer/Artist/Teacher/Coach. Motivational author who recently completed The Playful Way to Knowing Yourself, and The Playful Way to Serious Writing. Teaches in colleges and universities — a visual artist with work in the collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
  • Joy Sikorski: Artist/Writer. Author of several how-to drawing books including, How to Draw a Cup of Coffee, and How to Draw a Radish. She has a wonderful gift in "humorizing" the learning process, thus making learning how to draw exciting and fun for kids and adults.

I don't know about your people, but mine have striking similarities. Besides the obvious fact that they are women, they are accomplished writers, artists, and teachers. Not only have they accomplished quite a bit in their lives — there is no doubt in my mind that they do what they like, and they like what they do. And they do it so well!

Imagine that!

Your career or life's work: doing what you like, and liking what you do. Seems like an impossible dream for some, doesn't it?

Are my and your people just lucky? Perhaps. Maybe they enjoyed distinct advantages that most of us didn't. Maybe they had a pool of supportive family and friends, or tons of money, or the right connections, or lots of free time, or a happy childhood, or, or...

Or maybe they simply decided what they wanted to do in life, and began working towards getting there.

Could it be that easy?

Tell me, are you doing what you like? Or do you look at others who are doing what they like — wishing that it were you?

Doing what you like could be your life's work, or it could simply mean that you are doing things that you enjoy, period. These things could fit into any context: a career, part-time job, a special project, or a hobby.

Doing what you like doesn't have to take up all of your time, and doesn't have to bring you fortune and fame. It means that you are doing the things that bring you satisfaction and fulfillment in your life. Like what? Well, that depends on you.

Some things that I like doing other people may see as impractical, or a waste of time. Not me. And I deeply respect the fact that we all have our individual gifts and talents; interests and likes; and I certainly do celebrate that spicy variety in life!

Speaking of variety, have a peek at what other people like doing. Some do it for work, and some do it for personal satisfaction. Maybe this list will inspire you!

What Some People Like Doing:

These examples should convince you that it is possible for you to do what you like, even on a small scale. But, you may ask, what if you want to do "it" on a larger scale, say as a full-time job or career?

For some of us, that is the goal: doing what we like as our life's work. The question is then, how do we make that happen? How do we get "there?"

I won't be unrealistic. Doing what you like may mean taking risks that you will be uncomfortable with. This is where it gets scary for some people.

So let's be honest. Doing what you like could mean:

  • Leaving your present job, a secure position, or a company you've been with for years
  • Sacrificing your free time
  • Spending money
  • Going back to school, or taking training courses
  • Meeting new people
  • Having setbacks
  • Stepping outside of your comfort zone
  • Learning that you don't even like doing what you thought you wanted to do
  • Failing

Well, at least it's good to know what you're up against, isn't it? Armed with this reality, you can choose to forget about the idea of doing what you like and keep safe. That would be easier wouldn't it?

Or would there be a nagging voice deep within you that keeps hoping and dreaming?

Well, here's something to think about: Despite the risks involved, many people still choose to get on that uncertain path and move towards what they like. Yes, they make their decision, and proceed to take the needed steps (and risks) in order to get where they want to be. And guess what? In time, many do get there.

I believe that you can get there if you really try to. But are you willing to get on that uncertain path full of risks?

In the second part of this article I will tell you about two people that I know of — who, after deciding what they wanted to do in life are either in the process of getting "there," or have already arrived.

Next: Part 2 — How to Get "There »

© Chris Dunmire 2004. All rights reserved.

About Chris Dunmire

Chris is a deeply engaged creative spirit, lover of wit, words, and wisdom, and the driving force behind the award-winning Creativity Portal® Web site. [...]

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