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Action indeed is the sole medium of expression for ethics.
-- Jane Addams


Monday, January 22, 1996

Find success by doing what you love

Bill Gates says, in an interview on the CD-ROM that accompanies his new book, that “I’ve got the greatest job in the world.” And because he feels that way about his work, he has amassed a personal fortune of around $15 billion, and built one of the most influential and successful companies in the world today.

You just won’t find anyone who has achieved massive success by doing something that they hate. To achieve success, you must find something that you absolutely love to do. Something that you cannot not do. And do it well. Do it with passion, with excitement, with enthusiasm, with a healthy obsession.

That is not to say that you must become a workaholic. Because when you find something that you absolutely love to do, it’s not work. It’s fun. Obsession with making money creates workaholics. Focusing on limitation creates workaholics. Don’t focus on making money, because then you’ll be working. Focus instead on creating your dream job, on doing what you love to do the most. The money will come, but it is only one measure of your success. More importantly, you’ll grow as a person. You’ll grow into the person you were meant to be. You will fulfill your potential and make your unique contribution to the world. And that is worth far more than any check that anyone could write to you.

Mark Twain said, “The secret of success is making your vocation your vacation.” Successful people are on a permanent vacation. Not because they don’t work hard, but because they love what they do.

The other night on the radio a caller to a talk show was asked, “What would you do if you won the lottery?” Her reply was that she would “never work another day in my life.” It always makes me very sad to hear something like that. It is sad to think that there are people who hate what they are doing. They’ll never get anywhere with an attitude like that. And it is sad to think that the ultimate goal in life would be to NOT work. Can you imagine anything more empty? Think for a moment how that would be -- never contributing anything of value.

Bill Gates could retire today and live a life of leisure and almost unimaginable luxury. He has amassed a fortune that would last for thousands of lifetimes. And yet he still works very hard. That says a lot about the values and attitude that got him where he is today.

If your goal is to get to the point where you never have to work again, perhaps you should examine the nature of your work. Hating what you do will probably not get you very far. Find a way to love your work and you’ll immediately have true success.

— Ralph Marston

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