You Gotta Love What You Do.

Never continue in a job you don’t enjoy. If you’re happy in what you’re doing, you’ll like yourself, you’ll have inner peace. And if you have that, along with physical health, you will have had more success than you could possibly have imagined. ~Johnny Carson

Who inspired you?

Who encouraged you to dream about a more fulfilling career and life? Somewhere, someone must have shown you that work doesn’t have to be dreaded and hated. There are people who love what they do and inspire others with their enthusiasm and drive to be their own person.

Who put that bug in your mind, the one that won’t let you settle… The one that reminds you that you can be doing so much more? Someone taught you, purposely or by example, that work can be more than a daily grind. Work can be meaningful and you can give all of yourself to it and feel good about doing so…

Sure, there’s always stress and difficulty that goes along with any work. But some people take it on willingly, put in long hours and go to bed tired and with a smile.

Would you feel that way about frying burgers?

The eccentric sculptor over by the tracks

For me, this person is named P. I was in my early 20s, attending classes for commercial art and not knowing what I was going to do with my life. P called the college, looking for help in the bronze foundry he just opened. My instructor gave me the address and thought I should go see what P was looking for.

I had no experience in metal casting, or much of anything at this point in my life. I arrived at the squat tin can of a building, thinking it was so close to the railroad tracks that a train would surely hit it… If the outside was unusual I quickly forgot about it as I stepped inside. There was no office or anything resembling a place of business to announce my arrival. There was just… Stuff…

Why am I doing this?

Why am I doing this?

Figures of every size, molds for casting and half finished assemblages were scattered everywhere. I could make out a worktable in the middle of it all, barely.

It’s then I saw that P was standing there. Middle-aged, hair sticking up in random patches, his apron covered in paint and resin…Mistaken for one of the  sculptures loitering around.

That’s my first memory of P…He blended in with his creations…

I worked over five years at the foundry, learning the trade and developing my skills. P mentored me, and we became friends. I became an artist as I watched P struggle, with my help, to get his business up and running…

A thank you letter

Doug felt we should call up the memories of gratitude we hold for P and the foundry. It’s easy to forget about passion in the struggle to find our way in life. We don’t intend to send the letter, but to just call our thanks forward and express it. In this way, we can remember what inspired us in the past, and remind ourselves that work can be about love…

Dear P,

Thank you for showing me how someone can love what they do. You gave me a job at the foundry and taught me skills and a trade. Your work day started before I arrived in the morning and you were still working when I left for the evening.

Most weekends you were working at the foundry as well. In the beginning, I think I often made more money than you did, since you paid me first. You worked hard and took in some unpleasant side work to keep the foundry, to keep us, afloat. You stuck with it… We were casting a lot of resin pieces when you dreamed of casting exclusivity bronze…

You do only bronze now, and I’m happy for you. Your persistence paid off. Thanks for being a role model, even if I didn’t know you were one at the time…

I was hesitant to write this post. I haven’t talked to P in a while, we live a few hours apart,and I never told him the things that are in this letter… I intended to keep things anonymous… But I feel that goes against the spirit of gratitude. So, for those interested in bronze sculptures or just in learning about a good, funky artist, P’s website can be found here

Exercise

Who inspired you to expect more from work, and from life? Think about that person, their work ethic, their drive and their passion. What made you realize they loved what they were doing? How did they influence you, inspire you or guide you, even if they didn’t know they were?

Write this person a thank you letter. Call up the gratitude you feel and write it down. You don’t need to send this letter… It’s important to acknowledge our inspirations though, and to honor the gratitude we have inside us… Maybe we didn’t even know it was there until now…

Reevaluate your work!

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8 comments

  1. Deeply moving post. Thanks for the insights!

    1. Thanks for reading!

  2. mauruschka · · Reply

    Reblogged this on .

  3. This is wonderful! It sent me thinking about college days…when I knew I couldn’t fail. Thank you!

    1. I’m glad it resonated with you… It made me a bit sad and a bit happy to write it, all at the same time.

      1. I can completely understand why…which is probably why it is so touching.

  4. So true. Great post 🙂

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