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It has become a mantra among life coaches and their proteges. “Do what you love.” In response, an inordinate number of people are refusing to take jobs that don’t meet every requirement they out forth. The result is not what they thought it would be. The decision makes them unfulfilled and unemployed.

In the show ‘Mad Men’ Marie Calvet tells her daughter Megan, who is despondent about not being hired as an actress, “Not every little girl gets to do what they want. The world cannot support that many ballerinas.” The truth is that both of these are true. How can that be? It’s about looking at the big picture.

Doing what you love means setting goals. Preferably you should set big, audacious goals. Everything you do should be geared towards achieving those goals. That doesn’t mean you will love everything you have to do to get that goal done. Taking a job means you are generating capital. That capital lets you do what you love.

People who love sports don’t all become professional athletes. Most of them play in weekend leagues. Very few little girls grow up to be ballerinas, but they can dance in amateur shows. Pursuing what you love, doesn’t necessarily mean pursuing it as a career. It means pursuing a life you love, and doing what is necessary to achieve that.

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