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“Don’t aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and
 believe in it, and it will come naturally.” ~David Frost

Do what you love and the money will follow. An adage as well as a great book I read two decades ago.  The only missing piece is the belief part. Loving what you do isn’t enough–-you must also believe in it.

Once, on a series of flights returning from Singapore, I interacted with several people who lived this philosophy out loud.

There was the broadly smiling ticket agent at the check-in counter. Was so genuine and friendly I asked if he liked his job to which he replied with enthusiasm, “Love it!”

Then there was the gentleman sandwiched in the seat next to me for the 12-hour flight into Frankfurt.  Owns a maritime vessel management company out of Seattle. I asked what that meant, a maritime management company.

“Boats,” he says. “I manage boats—don’t own ‘em, just oversee ‘em.“ He turned and twinkled at me.  “They pay me to play with boats—big boats.” He went on to tell me more—he had built it from the ground up and had 350 employees around the world—but what I noticed was the level of enthusiasm in his voice, the pace of his speech: this man loved what he did.

“Trust in what you love, continue to do it, and it will take you where you need to go.” ~Natalie Goldberg

In the Frankfurt airport I met an artist. He explained his medium—3-dimensional cartoon artworks—and was quick to add that his art business funded his real passion, aiding Nepalese orphans. He was returning from his annual 3-week pilgrimage, obviously happy and “full.” He and his wife had in fact adopted two girls years ago and he was traveling with the younger one, a beautiful young twenty-year-old woman.  He was most blessed, he told me; “I do work I love, live with people I love, travel to places I love. Yes, most blessed.”

The last leg of the trip, from Frankfurt to New York, I was seated next to a lovely woman, a decade older than myself. Retired, twice a year she flies to Vietnam where she volunteers as a teacher for an organization helping literacy endeavors. She donates her time and financial resources because she finds meaning in the work. “I’ll do this ‘til I die, God willing!” she said to me.

I slept little on the 20-hour journey back to the States.  I, too, was “full” of the joy of doing work I love.  I never set out to change corporate cultures, not that I remember. Just did what came naturally and was led here.

It’s funny how if you just put one foot in front of the other, doing what you love, it will eventually, one way or the other, lead you to a happy place.

Fulfillment: another name for success.

“True success, true happiness lies in freedom and fulfillment.” ~Dada Vaswani

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