Earlier this week I linked to a thought-provoking post — You’re not meant to do what you love. You’re meant to do what you’re good at. A friend shared it on Facebook, and there was a bit of pushback in the comments. That got me thinking deeper about the subject — which is exactly why blog posts and Facebook are useful. The disagreement in the comments was of the “you shouldn’t crush anyone’s dream” variety. But I think the original blog post was a pushback against just that mentality. Our culture is functionally narcissistic — what makes me happy? what do *I* want to do? And hell hath no fury like a person who has been told he’s not good at something.
The more I think about the original post, the more I agree. We should be pointing our children in the direction of serving with their gifts and abilities (and helping them to find out what those are) instead of encouraging them to follow their hearts. See the difference there? One of those directions is others-focused and the other is self-focused. Yes, occasionally these two worlds collide, but not always.
I was raised to work hard and to aim for excellence at whatever job I held. And I’ve learned that I’m the kind of person who can make herself like just about any job. I’ve never held a mind-numbingly boring job, but some of the jobs I’ve had may well be mind-numbing to others. Sure, there are jobs I really don’t think I’d want, but if I had to to it, I think I could jedi-mindtrick myself into seeing the worth of it and digging in. I’m very grateful that the job I’m in now is challenging and interesting and never boring. But I never grew up thinking that my passion was balancing numbers or solving daily mysteries or replying to emails. As it turns out, however, that’s where God used my gifts and abilities and circumstances to put me to serve right now. It wasn’t my dream, but I’m glad about how it’s turned out. It’s satisfying to know that I’m where I’m supposed to be, even if that’s a different place than I thought I’d be.
I often counseled my children to find what they loved and to figure out how to get paid for it. There’s truth in that to be sure. But if I had it to do over again, I’d add the part about finding what you’re actually good at.
Just thinking a little this Friday morning…