Some people say that it’s okay to have a job you don’t love. Your job’s purpose is to pay your bills, right? So why talk about this woo woo “do what you’re passionate about” theory?

Let’s take a step back and look at it from a 10.000 feet perspective (beware woo woo question): Why are you here? What is the purpose of your life?

If you answered these questions with “Guess there is not much meaning to it. You know, just do what everybody else does and you’re fine”, or with a blank stare, go back and read one of our early articles The Meaning of Life. Here it is in a nutshell: There is no big built-in purpose. You have to go out and create one on your own. You’re the one responsible to give your life meaning.

Now how does this relate to doing work you love? Here’s the scoop:

Let’s say you start working when you’re 20 and retire when you’re 70. That’ll be fifty solid years of working. If you, say, have 80 years to live on this planet, that’s about 80,65% of your adult life. Your work takes up the majority of your life’s time. This makes it an incredibly important part of your life.

I don’t know about you, but spending the majority of my life doing something that I don’t really give a fuck about FREAKS ME OUT. Like big time.

Do you really wanna look back at your life and say “Oh yeah, I spend most of my life sitting at a desk wondering how I was going to survive another day of boredom. The rest of the time I didn’t have enough energy to do something fun or meaningful, because work was so damn exhausting. I guess I didn’t really make a difference. ”

“My life is so boring… I’m wondering if there’s anything going on on Facebook…?”

This. Is. WORST Case Scenario.

If you don’t think it is, you’ve probably been brainwashed by society to think that making a paycheck is what life is all about. They’re lying.

You’re part of our community at Bright Little Socks, that’s why you’re reading this. That means you probably know that there’s more to life than having a nice job and getting a regular paycheck. You’re here because you want to feel alive every single day and use your time to make a difference in the world.

So I know that if you’re stuck in a job you hate (or a college major that bores you out of your mind), I know you have the power to turn it around. Because you have that fire inside you, that burning desire to live like you mean it.

Listen up: You have the potential to do great things. As Marie Forleo likes to say, God didn’t build any extra peeps. Each and everyone of us is capable of doing something extraordinary with our lives. There are people out there who are absolutely rockin’ it. Let’s see if we can learn something from them. 

Why is it that some people are changing while the majority of us counts down the minutes til lunch break?

How come some people are able to do work that matters and that is meaningful to them? Is there a secret the rich don’t tell you? Do they have a sexy oracle that tells them what their purpose is and gives them step-by-step instructions to make sure they will rock it?

Psssh, you better don’t say something like that when Beyoncé is around. She’s probably gonna ring the alarm and get really upset with you. If you’re not into Beyoncé, take Einstein, Michael Jordan, Wendy Nguyen or any other of your idols. Do you think they grew up with some kind of a privilege that allowed them to go out and pursue their passions while you had to pick a lame job to pay your bills? Do you believe they just got lucky?

No, my friend. Nothing could be further from the truth. Sure, some of them had more support than others, but they are not much different from you or me. The biggest differentiator is that they believed in their own potential. They knew in their heart that there had to be a way to get paid to do your life’s work. They had faith and trusted that they could make it. This belief made it possible for them to put in the hard work required to make their dreams a reality.

If you want to do work you love the first step is this: BELIEVE it can be done. How do you do this? Look for people who are doing what you wanna be doing. Look for people who are leading their lives with passion.

So rule #1 to find and do work you love is:

Surround yourself with passionate people.

If all your friends, co-workers and gym buddies are stuck in jobs they hate, guess what: You’re gonna have a hard time believing that it’s possible to do work you love when everyone around you shows you the opposite. You don’t necessarily need to fire all your loved ones, but you do need to go out and search for people who inspire you. If you can’t do it in real life because you’re stuck in a village that has more cows than people, search for them online. No excuses.

A good starting place would be Live Your Legend, a site where a lot of world changing passionate people hang out. It’s run by a guy named Scott Dinsmore who is a legend himself. He not only does work he loves, he started a revolution helping others do the same. He believes that if we were all to do work we care about, the world would change for the better. And he’s right. Think about all the innovation, passion and energy that would be released if people spent the majority of their time doing something they’re passionate about.

The first step to doing work you love and becoming a world changer yourself, is to surround yourself with people who turn your definition of what’s possible upside down.

Which leads us to rule #2…

Start doing the impossible

Once you understand that it’s not crazy and indeed quite possible to get paid to do what you love, it’s time to take some action:

Do something that you previously thought was impossible. It doesn’t matter whether it’s big or small. It just needs to stretch your mind a little. It might be something as small as starting a new habit like juicing daily, or saying hi to that cute guy in your seminar.

Though there is one way that could be seen as the most powerful to change your idea of what’s possible: Fitness. If you’ve previously been the girl who couldn’t run more than five minutes and you put in the effort and do the training to run your first marathon, you’re gonna feel invincible when you cross that finish line.

That girl sounds a lot like me. I started doing Ju-Jutsu recently. What I didn’t know was that half of the training consists of hardcore strength training. We literally do jumping jacks, push-ups and sit-ups for 45 minutes, plus fun things like standing on the shoulders of a partner (Know that classic scene with Jack and Rose in titanic? Imagine Rose in that same position, just on his shoulders. Now imagine the look on my face when I do this).

Before I started doing Ju-Jutsu I was a real loser when it came to push-ups. It seemed impossible for me to do more then 3 push-ups (with cheating) in a row. Now I can do ten without cheating, and I also don’t look like I’m dying a horrible death when I’m doing it anymore. My view on reality has shifted. And that’s exactly what we want.

When you change your definition of what’s possible in one area of your life, that’s going to change what you think is possible in general. If I can run a marathon, maybe I can run my own business?

Al right, let’s take a look at rule #3:

Know Thyself (yo)

You can’t do work you love if you have no clue what you’re passionate about. And guess what, nobody can know this except for you. So you gotta do some diggin’ and find out what lights you on fire. Take this serious: If you don’t know what you wanna do you can’t make it a reality.

A good way to find your passion is to ask yourself some quality questions like:

  • What do you love so much that you would pay to do it every single day?
  • What are you really good at?
  • What do other people ask you for advice on?
  • What makes you come alive?

Become a student of yourself. Explore what makes you tick and what turns you off. This is crucial. In fact, a very basic concept to finding work you love could look like this:




Yup, nothing fancy. Getting to know yourself is a ton of fun, really inspiring and sometimes surprising. I believe that paying attention to your feelings, thoughts, values and desires is one of the biggest gifts you can give to yourself.

Why our world needs YOU to do work you love

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it.
Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
Howard Thurman (aka really cool dude)

About 80% of people dislike their job. Now look at the state of the world we live in. Just turn on the news. Yeah, looking kinda crappy, right? Is there a correlation between mindless work and the problems we face as humanity? I’m sure there is. And I’m not alone.

Scott Dinsmore, one of my biggest inspirations and heroes thinks that we must do work we love if we want to change the world. He is the one that made me wake up and go from “Life is boring, jobs are supposed to be annoying, and I’m a poor victim that can’t change any of this” to “hell yeah, let’s start a revolution and teach the world to live like we mean it”. And a big part of my mission is to help people find work they love. I don’t believe you can live a passionate life or make a difference in the world if you’re bored outta your mind from 9 to 5.

I’m forever grateful for the changes Scott has inspired me to make. He taught me the passionate work framework, aka the three essential rules I’ve shared with you above, and I intend to live by them.

Scott is helping thousands of people find and do work they love at his site Live Your Legend. He created a course that is specifically designed to help you find your passion and start getting paid for it. It is called Live Off Your Passion. Over a thousand people have already taken the course and changed their lives -and guess what, one of them is me! I got my hands on his course around April this year, right when I was in the early stages of creating a life worth living for. Until now I have focused most of my time on the part first part of his course which is all about finding your passion.

And boy has it paid off.

I went from lost and confused college student to bad ass action taker within a few short months. Using the exercises and tools provided in the course I was able to identify my biggest passion: Empowering and motivating people my age to create the life of their dreams. With this clarity I started taking massive action, one of the results of which is the blog you’re reading right now. I’m also taking the first steps to becoming a life coach, because I think that’s that’s the best (and most fun!) way for me to combine my passion, strengths and values.

I highly recommend you check out Scott’s Live Off Your Passion course. It will be offered at a special discounted price until the end of the year. If you want to do work you love but aren’t sure how to go about it, this course is for you. Now if you decide to get the course I will earn a small commission, so if you want to give yourself, Scott and me a christmas present this is a good way to do it. :) Be assured though that I would never recommend you anything but that I haven’t personally tried and got great results from.  In the case of Life Off Your Passion, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that it has changed my life. And I don’t say this of very many products (actually this might be the only one).

If you’ve been stuck and wondering how on earth you could start doing work you love, stop fuzzing around and take action now to make 2013 the year you found (and started living!) your passion. Wouldn’t it be cool to look back at the end of 2013 and be able to say that you took action and are now living your passion? Damn, that would be hot!

Whatever you decide to do with your next year, I’ll be right here to cheer you along.


PS: If you want to learn more about Scott and his vision, watch this Tedx talk he gave on finding and doing work you love. It got 100.000 views in just a few short weeks and I think I’m pretty sure I know why (hint: it’s mind blowing).

PPS: Didn’t I say it was mind blowing? If you loved the video you might wanna take a look at Scott’s flagship product Live Off Your Passion. This course will help you find and do work you love, guaranteed – if you don’t you get your money back.


image credit 1 & 2

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19 Responses to How to Do What You Love, Change the World & Get Paid to Do it

  1. Aaron Black says:

    “You’re here because you want to feel alive every single day and use your time to make a difference in the world.”

    Most of us spend the best, most energetic hours of our day at work. Doing it for anything less than something I’m passionate about feels like I’m wasting my life. I’m a huge believer in just getting activated toward your passion and meaning will emerge.

    Big fan of Scott’s work too, changing the way people approach life.

    • Iris says:

      The realization that we literally are wasting the best years of our life for something that bores us can make a huge difference. Glad to hear you don’t want to live as a corporate zombie. :)

  2. Shavvy says:

    Wow! Great article as usual,Iris. Thank You so much for writing it as I am really inspired by it and the point where great people didn’t know there purpose, nailed the idea.
    I think you just transformed my life for better.

  3. Annika says:

    Iris, I love your writing! As someone who has already gotten past the “I don’t know what to do with my life” phase, reading your blog re-inspires me to get off my butt and actually make that want a reality! Keep up the amazing work, I’m sure you will inspire many more! :) xxx

  4. Jessica says:

    You always make the best posts!! I stopped “sleepwalking” through life years ago. You’re right, work does take up the majority of our lives, so we better love what we do!! Thank you again for the uplifting and fresh approach to tackling life!! :)

  5. Thank you for this! I just quit my super boring day job to pursue what I really want to do with my life. Most people I told were super supportive of this change but some (mostly my parents) were somewhat worried. And I have to say, so am I. Freaked out! But life didn’t seem worth living anymore and I had to make a change. I am really looking forward to what is to come. Thank you for giving me some strength :)

  6. Sometimes a job might be necessary until we can get what we really want to do off the ground. I like Hugh McCleod’s idea of Evil Plans. That’s where you have you plan and you’re working on it so that one day it can replace the 9-5. We can also use jobs to learn skills and do good things that we can carry forward into idependent lives.

  7. Michael says:

    Great post Iris. Super stuff. Really… really super stuff. Loving this blog. Great vibe.


  8. I love that when you’re thinking like this, you actually see that there are so many people doing it. Wonderful stuff, I’m bookmarking this!

    Thank you!

  9. There is a plugin that posted a link from my website, sorry, it was not my intention, you can delete it!

  10. Naomi says:

    Awesome post! I wanted the 9-5 job in 2010 after graduating. I never really got it. Since then, I have been trying to find a passion and I finally found it through kiteboarding, now teaching in Egypt while developing my blog. It has been a fearful journey, but I vowed to live by “Doing what scares you everyday.” I am proud to say that living like a rebel, a legend really pays off. Scott Dinsmore, as well as Corbett Barr are super awesome as well.

    • Iris says:

      Wow, very inspiring story! I love that you teach kiteboarding, that’s something I definitely want to learn one day. :)

      Living like a rebel is absolutely worth it. Glad you’ve found this to be true for you.

  11. Julie says:

    Great post Iris!
    I’m a big fan of Scott Dinsmore as well. Just out of curiosity, how do you find that Live Your Legend compares with Jonathon Mead’s Trailblazer?

    • Iris says:

      Thanks, Julie.
      To this day I have only done the part of the course about identifying your passion. I absolutely believe it works. It wasn’t the only resource I used to identify mine, but it helped me ask the right questions and gave me some answers as well. I really enjoyed it.
      It’s different from TB as far as that it doesn’t feel like a course as much, more like a guide and workbook. Which I love :)

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