“I am very happy to do the job of window cleaning. It is everything for my family. Everything for me.” These were the words from Juan Lopez who, along with Juan Lizama, was stranded 827 feet in the air at the World Trade Center after a malfunction on their scaffold.
“Do what you love” is the advice I grew up hearing. But here was Juan who spoke about loving what he did. When was the last time you heard that or, even better, did that? As I reflected on the question, it struck me that I may not be alone and hence this blog.
One can argue that we have little control in doing what we love. Yes, you can code, design, photograph, cook, dance, play and so on. But I am talking about making a living out of it and not a hobby. And no, drinking and smoking do not qualify unless you are a tester.
But loving what we do is a choice nobody can deny. This is ours to surrender and if you believe that, why not love what you do? Yes, be guided by passion and interests, but why stop at limited passions? I grew up wanting to join the Navy, a dream I could not realize. While it will stay with me forever, through a series of unplanned events, I stumbled onto recruiting and started loving what I did. Oddly enough, the more I loved it, the better I got at it and that only meant more love.
I don’t believe that Lopez and Lizama grew up wanting to clean windows. I don’t believe that this is what they will continue to do forever. But it is what they love today and will continue to until the next thing. Steve Jobs famously remarked “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to love what you do.”
I am not waiting to do what I love but loving what I do.