A Casual Rebuttal to Confucius

They say, “Do what you love, and you will never work a day in your life.”  In researching this quote I found some conflicting information, but for the most part “they” appears to be Confucius.

I, however, am not so sure I agree.  I mean, I love to write, but there are certainly times when it feels like work.  The creative part of it is a bit of an adventure, and it’s not so bad.  But when I am sending out a manuscript submission, I can’t just write “Hey, check this out!” on a sticky note, slap it on a manuscript, and shove it in the mailbox.  When the kids are asleep and it is Time To Write, I sometimes find myself too tired to do as much as I would like.  If it wasn’t work, could I ever be too tired to do it?

In addition to writing, I have a day job in the financial sector.  I don’t really care for finance, and it most definitely feels like work.  So what’s the difference?

If you decide to Google Confucius’ quote for yourself, you will find several articles advising you not to do what you love.  They say (“they”, in this case, being business and financial experts) that you will be miserable and broke.  So should you do what you love and be miserable?  Or do what you hate and be miserable?

To me, it seems that the biggest delineation between the two is the willingness to do the work.  When I sit down to write, or send submissions, or order business cards, it is definitely work.  But I am more than happy to do it.  In fact, I am excited to do it.  Writing brings me more satisfaction and self-worth than any other job I have ever had.

So, while I concur with Confucius’ general idea, I think it should be amended a bit:


Do what you love, and you will want to work every day of your life.


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