Doing your life's work

On May 22, 2013

Do you ever take time out of your busy life and ask yourself - what is your life's work? The work you always think of doing, but never do.

Do you want to create something on your own - write a book, create your own app, or design a video game, but never find the courage to do.

Relax, you are not alone.

All of us struggle with such questions at some point in our life. Some find the answer in their twenties, while some find it in their thirties, forties, or even fifties. There is no age limit, whether upper or lower, to finding your life's work.

But it isn't something you do once and later forget about. It's the work you keep doing again and again, only getting better each time. And if you aren't doing it now you're missing something in your life.

When you struggle with the same routine work every day, you wonder if it's even possible to do what you love.

There are two limitations that may stop you. One is real, another is superficial.

I understand if you have real limitations like family responsibility, loans, or lack of money or resources. I know it's easy to say to follow your passion, but tough to do when you have so many things to worry about. Some of us do have such problems which we can't ignore.

But you may not even have these limitations and yet you are afraid to follow your passion. Why is that?

It's because of the superficial limitations that majority of us impose on ourselves to stop us from doing our life's work.

For most of us it's possible to carry out our family responsibilities, pay loans, save money, and do that work we always wanted to do. It seems tough, but is definitely doable.

We make up so many problems ourselves - "I don't have time"; "It won't work"; "What will others think of me?" In reality, most of these problems don't exist. We just love to imagine such problems, so that we can postpone following our passion.

And we do that because we don't want to take the risk that automatically comes with starting a new project. And that's why we don't do anything but just spend our time debating whether our idea will work or not.

But you never know if it'll work or not unless you do it. How can you know if you'll succeed or fail, if you don't show your work to the world.

You don't have any answer for that. And to put you at ease, nobody else does.

We only think and act based on our experience, intuition, and thoughts. And these differ from person to person. What works for one might not work for another.

When you set out to do your life's work, you face as many challenges as opportunities. Don't give up thinking only about the challenges, think of the opportunities too.

Today, we have so many advantages than what we had just a decade ago. Everything has become so affordable, that the only thing that matters now is our time.

It's no longer about having huge amount of money and resources. You can succeed even by dedicating just your time. For example, this blog makes some money and all I have to give it is my time and publish useful articles. And yes, it runs on a great free blogging platform - Blogger.

And you can see this everywhere - Want to start a blog with zero investment? sure there is Blogger for you; Want to create great graphic art for free? sure there is Gimp for you; Want to learn programming? sure there are tons of free online resources for you.

Everywhere you see, you'll find a solution for every little problem you have.

But most people don't look for solutions, they look for problems. They don't realize that all that matters is sharing your great ideas, and not waiting for the perfect launch for your blog, app, or services.

Sure there are some limitations with using free or cheap products, but you can always produce great work and gain recognition even within these limitations. But to do that, you have to look at the positive side and take some action.

See any successful person, and you'll see that they too started just like you and me. Except for the rare few, most succeed simply by doing hard work everyday, and trying to become better and better with each passing day.

And the problem isn't that we don't know this, the problem is we keep looking for some magic trick that will ease our work and make us instantly rich. And that's why most people fail or give up after few months of trying.

If you take time to study the life of self-made millionaires you'll see that most of them succeeded by doing hard work and not taking shortcuts.

Stop wasting time on things that don't matter. Successful people just keep doing what they are good at without caring about trivial issues.

And stop postponing your dreams because you think they are too big.

If you want to create things that have the potential to reach thousands or millions of users, you have to start first by reaching one real user; and then move to ten, hundred, and thousand users.

If your dreams are too big, break them into small parts and try to accomplish one small goal at a time.

Take one thing and start it today. Once you finish it, take another small goal and work on it. Keep accomplishing one goal after another, and try to increase the size of your goals every time.

For example if you want to write a book, just write one sentence today. Tomorrow write one more sentence, then write two sentences, then three and so on. And in few months you'll be surprised to see that you can easily write fifty or hundred sentences in one day.

That's how powerful that one sentence will become if you start with it today. It's just a matter of time before that single sentence turns into a complete book.

And you are not the only one with problems - Want to start a blog but think it's too difficult, what about this guy; Think that it's too tough to learn programming, what about this guy; Think you are too old to create good design, what about this guy.

The reason I use examples of common people is because it's easy for us to give up when we compare ourself with people who are at top of their profession. If you compare yourself to Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, not only you won't get started, but you won't ever feel happy about yourself. 

There is nothing wrong with having big goals in life. But to attain them first learn to complete small goals in your life. Then keep getting bigger and bigger.

Stop making excuses and start taking actions. If you really want to do something, is it that tough to take half and hour out of your daily life. Is it necessary to spend your time in shopping and watching movies when you can be doing what you love and adding some value to this world.

Doing isn't the tough part, it's getting started that's tough.

Also, it's not the failures that count, it's success. And even if you succeed once it can overcome your ten earlier failures - what better example than Apple.

When you think about doing your life's work you face two choices. Should you look for excuses or should you look for solutions.

Keep looking for excuses and you'll find many reasons to stop you from doing your work. Keep looking for solutions and you'll again find many reasons to help you in doing your work.

Those are your only choices, and your choice will decide the person you become in personal and professional life.

There are no excuses for not doing your life's work. Just stop inventing your own.

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