Saturday, December 10, 2011

Do what you love

There is a book by Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt called “The two lifes of Adolf H.” In it, Hitler is portrayed as a young man who had always wanted to become an artist. When he finally applied to art school, he was rejected by…the Jewish director. The rest is history. Creation turned into destruction. Free thinking into an obsession.

What if Adolf H. had been accepted at art school back then? No world war, no holocaust? Maybe instead a new Picasso? Who knows…

A few days ago I saw a photo on Facebook saying, “The world needs more people who do what they love.” I couldn’t agree more. We have so many people stuck in some job they don’t enjoy, how can anything good come out of that? Despite all material wealth the world is hosting less and less happy souls. Depression is quickly becoming the number one disease of our civilization.

When I talk about this with others, often I get told, “yeah, but not everybody can do what they want.” No, not all the time, that’s true. But there’s a big difference between having a shit day at work, and not liking what you do. If you have a shit day, well, let it be a shit day. If you don’t like what you do, change it!

The beauty of humankind lies in its diversity – everybody is different, everybody likes different things, different partners, different jobs. If everybody chose the career they really wanted, there would be very few jobs no-one would want to do. And if we can send somebody to the moon, surely we could come up with a system and technology so that nobody has to do these unwanted jobs.

What happens when you don’t like your work? Over time, you become depressed. And, possibly even worse, you become dull and lose creativity. Creativity that is so desperately needed to solve all of our problems. To evolve into something better. To change.

By not encouraging everybody to do what they desire to do, sadness and destruction are being promoted. Sometimes more sadness, as seen in the many unhappy faces on the streets, and sometimes more destruction – with the extreme example of Adolf H.

So here’s a call for a DO WHAT YOU LOVE revolution. If you spend more time sad than happy while at work, then what’s the point? A waiter who doesn’t want to be a waiter will be a crap waiter. I have met plenty of people who love being waiters, let’s them do it. Same with car mechanics, lawyers, cleaners, doctors, builders, engineers, teachers, farmers, and so on. Not everybody wants to be a football player, musician or president. I have heard that there are even some who still want to be bank managers…

Whatever it is – chose something you love to do and get inspired! And then share this love and inspiration. Spread happiness! Because the world needs it. And life deserves it.

PS: For additional reading I recommend the chapter of ‘The unsuccessful merchant’ in THE LITTLE BUDDHA. Happy X-mas!


  1. How does Claus always seem to hit on a topic that's on my mind? I think because he writes about universal concepts.

    How do we change our lives so that we can be doing what we love? Start with something small. Move some small area of your life into change. Movement brings change.

    I love to weave. The more I weave, the more great changes occur in my life.

    Use your hands to create something and then watch your heart follow your hands.

  2. Very right, Clausito! Sometimes it's just really hard to know what one really loves...