Friday, 27 February 2009

by Silumesii Maboshe

On starting a new small business venture or taking the plunge into freelancing, one will often be advised to find something they love. Steve Job’s 2005 Commencement Speech at Stanford University is right on the pulse of this sentiment. We talk effortlessly about love between people but is the word an accurate descriptor when talking about work, career, vocation and entrepreneurship?

I think that love is word that has regressed to describe something very different than it used to. It has been robbed of its nobility and drenched in evaporating emotion. It is mostly used to describe things that we “sort of like”. So should we invest our lives in things that we “sort of like”?

I think that love is either simple or complicated. It can not be both. So what if we thought differently about love?

A chief divide in a discussion on love is where it originates. Popular opinion suggests that love starts in the seat of our emotions. I think love is a choice. The distinction is a bottomless chasm. If love is an emotion, then we are doomed, if it is a choice, there may be hope for us yet. If love is an emotion, then we have every excuse to begin a freelance or small business venture today, grow tired of it tomorrow and abandon it the next day since the heart wants what it wants. Emotions are powerful, enthralling, visceral and most of all fleeting. If, however, love is a choice, we can muster the impetus to see an endeavour through peaks and valleys.

With a clearer understanding of love, we can begin to pursue those things we choose to love be they people, creations, careers or vocations. This is what love is about - the long-term and important and not necessarily the urgent or immediate. If we truly love something we are by definition willing to nurture it over time—to see it grow.