I remember learning the difference between a “house” and a “home” at a young age. My parents explained the difference to me, as did my elementary school teachers.
A house is “a building for human habitation” and a home is “a place where something flourishes”.
But what’s interesting is that this comparison concept isn’t really taught in any other aspects of our lives – particularly related to work.
And with work you can choose where you’ll do it – you don’t really have much choice about your home when you’re growing up.
Sometimes people try to classify different types of work by calling one a “job” and another a “career” – but it lacks the passion and meaning the house and home expression carries. And usually the so-called “job” is just a place they’re working at temporarily (and part-time) while they finish school, etc. before working in their “career”. But too many people have “careers” where they’re uncomfortable. Too many people are unable to flourish in their “careers”. Not enough people love what they do.
Why is this? I think it has a lot to do with the way this part of our lives is exposed to us growing up. We’re taught that we need to find a career that’ll pay well, that’s safe, and that will allow us to support a family. We’re not really taught that this place should be filled with excitement, challenges, creativity, and desire.
We’re given personality tests that output results such as “you should be a lawyer” and “you’d make a great science teacher”. These generic results shoehorn so many people into one way of thinking. They don’t foster creativity and they don’t inspire us to seek out a passion. What they do is promote us to find somewhere to earn some money. They teach us to be careful.
I was always taught that while anyone can buy a “house”, having a “home” is something truly special. Something to cherish. Why can’t the same go for work?
It’s not easy to find work that you love, but it’s incredibly important.
Steve Jobs touched on this during his Stanford University Commencement speech and I really think he says it best:
“I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.
It’s not always easy figuring out what you love to do. It’s not always going to be a single thing, and it might not even exist yet. Sometimes it happens by accident, and other times it’s something you’ve been working towards for a very long time. And sometimes it changes. The one thing that’s true is that you’ll always know it when you find it. You’ll be excited about it when you’re trying to fall asleep and when you’re in the shower. You’ll feel it.