Okay, so the title may have you thinking of something else. And though the epicureans had some really great insights, I tend to lean toward more of a stoic mindset.
A goal I have in mind for my son is to help him pursue the things he loves. Whether it is in sports, art, or intellectual pursuits, I want him to go after the things he enjoys. My hope is that he finds joy in pursuing healthy endeavors that will benefit his life down the road.
When he is told to do something he doesn’t want to do, he will get mopey and resist doing it at all costs. But if he chooses of his own freewill to do the exact same thing, he will have no problem with it and complete it quickly and to the best of his abilities. This probably rings true for most children. Just maybe, it even rings true for most adults.
Did you ever notice that the projects you want to work on get done at a higher level than the ones you don’t want to do? You can get into the zone doing the projects you love. The time spent on them doesn’t matter. You can work harder and longer and not even a grudge while doing it. You take pleasure in the work and the results show.
The opposite is true as well. The projects you don’t want to do tend to get pushed back. The level of motivation to complete them is lacking and the quality of the work isn’t quite up to the best of standards.
It would be nice if we only did the jobs we loved. Unfortunately there are times we have no choice but to do them. The only thing we can do is control our attitudes. We can find a way to take pleasure in the work we are doing, knowing that it is a reflection of our character. We can motivate ourselves to get into the zone and complete the work at a quality we know we are capable of producing.
Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work. -Aristotle