Career counselor William J. Reilly wrote How To Avoid Work in 1949 — a short guide to finding your purpose and doing what you love. Written at the beginning of the American corporate era and the golden age of the stay-at-home Mom, it not only encouraged people of all ages to pursue their passions over conventional, safe occupations, but it also spoke to both men and women with equal regard.
In it Reilly warns against the toxic “should”-culture we live in,
“Actually, there is only one way in this world to achieve true happiness, and that is to express yourself with all your skill and enthusiasm in a career that appeals to you more than any other. In such a career, you feel a sense of purpose, a sense of achievement. You feel you are making a contribution. It is not work.
To my mind, the world would be a much pleasanter and more civilized place to live in, if everyone resolved to pursue whatever is closest to his heart’s desire. We would be more creative and our productivity would be vastly increased.
Altogether too much emphasis, I think, is being placed on what we ought to do, rather than what we want to do.“
What WOULD you do if money were no object? Reilly suggests:
“No matter what your age or condition or experience, the sooner you find out what you really want to do and do it the better, for that’s the only way anyone can avoid work.
Try this approach. Suppose you were financially independent and were perfectly free to do anything you wanted, what would you do, if anything?
If your inclinations are at all definite, the answer to this simple question provides at least a general definition of the field which you would enjoy most.“
He also outlines a general division of labor for any field,
“In every business, art, trade or profession, there are four major jobs to be done:
Creative — inventing, discovering, or developing new ideas
Administrative — making plans and policies for the conduct and supervision of the entire business or project
Executive — directing the work of others in actually carrying out plans and policies in one or more departments or sections…“
You can read the full post at Brain Pickings and probably find the book in any used bookstore, the public library.
(via Brain Pickings)