Can you do what you love?

do what you love

“Do what you love”

The kind of internet meme that can drive working folk mad, their response often being: “I can’t do what I love, I have to do work I have to do to get paid”.

Well, this week I flew overseas to support a client with an annual leadership team meeting. Loved it.

Following that, I’d been asked to stop on my way back for a couple of days and facilitate (pro bono) a similar type of meeting for a national charity that gives hope and a voice to those living with and supporting those with a particular life-limiting disease.

As we finished that meeting after a thirteen hour day, I paused to reflect, recognising that I truly am doing what I love.

So, let’s talk about this. How can you do more of what you love?

“Awareness is the greatest agent for change”

A phrase I was taught by a mentor and friend, Suki Laniado Smith.

How aware are we of what we actually love to do?

What if we choose to look at work differently, to bring awareness to when we are doing what we love and look to build towards doing that ?

Let’s look at the concept of Ikigai as both an awareness tool and a way to consciously build and create our work to do more of what we love.


The country I travelled to was Canada. As a dual language country, certain French phrases seem to be used and resonate even with Anglophones.

One such phrase is “raison d’être”, or “reason for being”

Ikigai, as a Japanese term, can also be given that translation.

I love this simple Venn diagram.

Take a look at it closely, then look at each of the four circles and ask yourself how your current skills and what you do for work (paid) match this.

Ok, so this week I’ve had some peak experiences around doing work that feels centred with all four circles.

However, let’s not put undue pressure on ourselves. Let’s consider it a continuum for each of them. If we could simply move the needle just a little on each one, that can make a real difference for us and those we work with and for.

Now, of the four circles, we will all typically look first at “what you are good at” and “what you can be paid for”.

As you read this, I encourage you to open up to the possibility that you can also bring into your work and life more and more “what you love” and “what the world needs”.

For me, I have more three decades of experience in doing things I’m good at and what I can be paid for. I do also consciously choose to do as much as I can of what I love and what the world needs.

When I get all four circles overlapping, that is truly a great feeling.

So, sure you can do more of this yourself.

Do what you love indeed!

Also published on Medium.

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