How to Find and Do Work You Love: 3 Surprisingly Simple Steps

A recent study by Deloitte’s Shift Index shows that over 80 percent of the world doesn’t like the work they do.

This is a tragedy.

I’ve spent the last eight or so years on a quest to find out what sets those 20 percent, the seemingly lucky few, from the rest of the world who lead these lives of quiet desperation.

After interacting with over 11,000 people in 158 countries, I realized there are three practices that every person doing passionate world-changing work has in common. Without them we’re left in the 80 percent. But with them, anything’s possible.

Last month I gave a TEDx talk at the de Young Museum in San Francisco on How to Find & Do Work You Love. I covered the full origin of this three-step Passionate Work Framework, and how to fully integrate it into your world. You can watch the full talk below, or read on for a summary of the 3 steps that can change everything:

(Don’t see a video? Click here.)

1. Knowing Yourself and Self-Experimentation

You must know who you are, what you’re good at, what values you hold highest, what you enjoy doing and what you absolutely hate. This comes from massive introspection (journaling, reading, self-guided education, asking the right questions) and constant experimentation. This is not something you learn in a book. You extract it from your life experiences. The more experiences the better. When it doubt, keep learning and experimenting.

2. Doing the Impossible

Most people don’t believe it’s possible to have a passionate career. In fact, society trains us that a lot of unbelievably fulfilling things can’t be done. So we have to brainwash ourselves otherwise. Because when we do things we didn’t think we could do, it puts our thinking on a whole new level. The best place I’ve found to start is with your physical body — with exercise and nutrition.

One, because it’s totally in your control. No matter what happens in a day, you can always decide to get out on that run or choose that salad over the fries — no one can take that from you.

And two, because overcoming our own perceived physical impossibilities gives us confidence that is directly transferrable to the rest of our life — be it business, relationships or whatever. If you got yourself to lose 50 pounds in six months, then who’s to say you couldn’t double your business’s sales next year?

Showing yourself you can do things you used to write off as impossible, has a confidence-compounding effect on our life like no other.

We can be more of who we are when we put ourselves first. We must train ourselves that most limits are mental. We do that by turning them into milestones. Whether it’s finishing that first mile, writing that first chapter or making that first call – we must stack up proof that we can do what we used to tell ourselves we couldn’t. Then limits disappear.

3. Surrounding Yourself With Passionate People

The fastest way to do the impossible is to start hanging around people already doing it. Simple as that. The people around you change everything. There is no bigger life hack. That is why creating genuine connections is such a huge part of our message.

I swear if there were only one single piece of advice I could give to someone looking to find and do work they love, it would be to find new friends. The fastest way to change your results is to change your environment. That’s it. The people next to you have a much bigger impact than most realize. If you’re not inspired by them, then do something about it.

So what do these 3 pieces have in common?

They are all 100 percent within our control.

We can’t control a recession, getting fired or a getting hit by a bus. But every one of these things are on us. No one can tell us we can’t learn about ourself. No one can keep us from pushing our own physical and mental limits. And no one can tell us we can’t hang around inspiring people (or move away from those who bring us down).

What will you decide?

Scott Dinsmore is the founder of Live Your Legend, a coaching and digital product company helping people build a career around work they love. He’s also a Managing Partner at Cumbre Capital, a value investment partnership modeled after the Buffett Partnerships of the 50′s and 60′s. Scott loves a good adventure.

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only nonprofit organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.

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