Why People Love What They Do

Recently, Forbes contributor David DiSalvo has been researching what it is that motivates highly respected achievers. Despite the occasional fragment of insight, the biggest discovery was that those respected achievers truly love their jobs–they have a consistent sense of content with what they do. Disalvo also came up with ten reasons why they feel this way about their work:

1. They seldom feel disconnected from the challenge that first engaged their interest.
Regardless of challenges that may have come their way, “People who love what they do never fully lose sight of the challenge and the sense of purpose that drives them; they fight their way back toward it no matter how murky things get because it’s the very thing that gets them up in the morning.”

2. They’re remarkably well-attuned to the “early years.”
Memory is one of the most powerful tools we have to remind us what once fueled our deepest passions. “People who genuinely love their jobs have done this, they are in touch with that kid who loves to write, or tell stories, or envision amazing buildings.” They are, in fact, energized kids with the seasoned perspective of an adult.

3. They are “portfolio” thinkers.
It’s important to effectively manage loss and failure over the course of a career, “portfolio thinkers know that their careers will always combine positives and negatives. The crucial thing is, they don’t choke on the negatives and they don’t get too high on the positives. They ride the wave of both and by doing so they navigate their way closer and closer to what they want.”

4. They don’t care what you think.
People who love what they do don’t allow other people to talk themselves out of whatever it is. Those who see pass the naysayers “are much more likely to love what they do than those talked into a contrived conventionality.”

5. They are bored succession planners.
Simply put, people are aware that “for every person deeply synced in their position, there’s another person in training to do that job when the time comes. “. People who love their jobs embrace this cycle and actively look to share their passions with others.

6. They will stay…but just know, they’ll also leave.
Why? Because people who love what they do need to be part of an organization that is structured to fuel their fire. However, if that environment ceases to provide whatever that person needs, then it’s time for them to move on.

7. They won’t be stopped
Oftentimes you see people on the higher end of the corporate ladder envisioning a plan and needing a person to fill a certain role in that plan, period. They will oblige for a brief amount of time, but coming between them and their passions will force them to “figure out how to blow the walls of that plan and move on.” They can’t be held back.

8. They draw people to them without even trying.
Passion sells, and people want to be around people who are passionate about what they do because it’s an infectious feeling; “People who love what they do pass along what psychologists call ‘psychosocial contagions,’ and just a few drops can change an office for the better. As this happens, those doing the infecting are affirmed by the infected, and a positive cycle begins.”

9. They live in the now.
This doesn’t mean that passion-driven people are short sighted, but they’re also not going to wait around for a long time to see if everything comes together. Convincing them that a combination of external forces must connect before they can act isn’t going to work, “the ‘now’ for someone who loves what they do is precious, because it can disappear in a heartbeat.”

10. They never, ever limit their vision to serve the interests of petty competition
People who love what they do are competitive, however they don’t spend their energy on things like scheming and undermining. Loving what you do doesn’t require stepping on others to reach your goals.

Do you love what you do?

(HT: Forbes)