“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.'”
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Why do you do what you do? Is it passion?
Best selling author, Daniel Pink, doesn’t talk about passion. In fact, he detests that question. In a recent article, Think Tank: Ever felt like your job isn’t what you were born to do? You’re not alone, he writes, “So, as the economy comes back, and people begin pondering new opportunities, maybe we can take a break from this daunting and distracting question and ask a far more productive one, what do you do?”
Daniel asks questions like, “What did you do last Saturday afternoon – for fun, for yourself? What books do you read or blogs do you visit, not for work, but just because you’re interested in them? What are you great at? What comes easily to you? What would you do – or are you already doing – for free?”
So now I’m asking you, the Women of HR community, “What do you do and why do you do it?” Whether it’s the reasoning behind your career choice, your cat collection or your 100 scrap books I want to know why. I want to know why you are “sweeping the streets.”
If your answer is simply because, “it’s your career,” then lets delve a little further. Do you do it for the rewards or the internal satisfaction or because you just fell into it and it pays the bills?
So come on folks, let the community know why you love being a street sweeper!
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Thanks for the comment Chris. It sounds like your grandfather did what he did because he took something away from all three aspects of his life.
I’ve actually got a post it note on my desk saying “What do you do?” I like it because it lets me critically analyse the path that I am on every day as opposed to doing a big 6 month review of where I’m heading and why.
Saying that, I still throw myself head first into my work in order to better aid the answering of the question.
I think the way this question is framed is a bit misleading. My grandfather was a maintenance man, a roofer and a jazz musician his whole life.
While his passion is jazz, he took real joy from his other two jobs as well. He may not have loved being a maintenance man, but he really enjoyed going to work – doing things with his hands, interacting with great people, and so on.
Jason Seiden said it best when he noted (and I’m paraphrasing here) that you shouldn’t try to figure out what your passion is – you should throw yourself head-first into whatever your job is and watch how passion blooms.