When we become adults, we enjoyed the activities less and loved the results more. Or in other words, we do things simply to get something in return.
We go to work simply to make money.
We start a business hoping to get rich.
We exercise hoping to lose weight.
We lift weights hoping to get muscles.
We give hoping to get something back.
Whatever we do, we want to be compensated somehow. We don't want to do something simply because we enjoy it, and we definitely don't want to do something free. If we don't get anything back, then we don't want anything to do with it.
See, the one thing to understand is that results are to be bonuses, not obligations. No one is guaranteed to get anything from all their hard work. So if you get something in return, count it as an unexpected blessing.
Think about this. If you work at a traditional job, do you get paid when you first clock in? No? Well, do you at least get paid at the end of each day? Maybe, if you work at a temp agency. But most likely, you work at a place that pays you either at the end of the week, at the end of two weeks, or worst, at the end of the month. So, essentially, you're giving your employers free labor until they decide to pay you.
Well, what if after working for a whole week, your job shuts down overnight and your boss is nowhere to be found? How are you going to get paid? See, the results aren't guaranteed unless you get results BEFORE you start working, which rarely ever happens.
What if you exercised your heart out and still don't lose weight? What if you've planted seeds and get no fruit? What if you helped someone and that person couldn't reward you? Results aren't guaranteed. You could work hard to build something up and not be able to enjoy the fruit of your labor.
King Solomon pondered these kinds of things, stating that good things could happen to bad people, that your hard work could go to waste, that your children could ruin the business that you've past down to them, etc. He says that life is just full of irony. "The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all." (Ecclesiastes 9:11) Or in other words, results don't happen because you make them happen. Results come almost as if by random.
So, if you're a result-oriented person, you may find yourself constantly disappointed because things don't happen the way you want them to happen. You didn't make enough money with your business today. You didn't drop enough weight this week. You couldn't find the job that you wanted yet. You didn't get the grade on your test that you've studied so hard for.
Instead of loving the results, love the WORK. Love what you do. Enjoy your labor. After pondering all of these ironies, King Solomon concluded, "I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil" (Ecclesiastes 3:12-13).
Think about children. They simply enjoy whatever it is that they do. I know when I was a kid, I loved drawing and I was able to draw very well. I even went to a middle school that specialized in fine arts and attended a high school that specialized in art. I still have my drawings that I've made while in middle school, and man, they were pretty darn good! I did these drawings simply for the love of it, not because I was expecting anything from it.
I don't enjoy exercise -- instead, I enjoy the activity that I am doing. If that activity is giving me a work out, so be it. See, the word "exercise" comes with the idea that you do something in order to get something. In this case, I don't enjoy "exercise," because it's hard to get results from exercising, and if the results are non-existent, then exercising could be a mentally-draining activity that you dread.
Life is very short for all of us, and it's not worth pursuing things that we find no joy in. If you are doing things simply to get something in return, then you're looking in the wrong places. You will constantly find yourself in misery. But if you find yourself doing things simply because you enjoy them, you will have more joy in your life. Man, the feeling of doing something that you love is amazing! And if you get something in return, you'll be floating on the clouds!
Find something to do that makes you alive and don't worry about compensation.
Find an exercise program that you enjoy, and don't worry about losing weight.
Find a hobby that you love, and don't worry about making a business from it.
Do an activity that excites you, and don't worry about getting famous for it.
Sometimes when looking at certain people in my fitness classes, I would wonder why do they even come if they're not going to work out hard? But then I had to realize that for some people, they simply come to class because they enjoy it. They don't care about getting results. These people are more likely to continue coming to my classes than those who come simply to get results.
Love the work, not the results. Just experience the pure joy of doing an activity. Whether it's painting a picture, planting a garden, taking a jog, or working at your job, do it mostly because you enjoy it. If you don't enjoy it, then find a reason to enjoy it. If you can't even do that, then sooner or later, you'll need to move on to doing something different. Don't spend your life chasing after things that you don't care about. And think about this: if you do something that you enjoy, you'll most likely do it well, and you just might be compensated for it.
While at my wife's family house in Buffalo, I offered her aunt to work in her garden, because I enjoyed gardening. I didn't expect any compensation for it, but because I was simply willing to work in her garden while I was on vacation, she wanted to pay me. She had the money for it and it would make her feel better if I was compensated. So, after working in the garden for a few days, she rewarded me BIG! The money to her probably meant nothing, but it meant a whole lot to us!
While helping someone at the gym get in shape, this lady appreciated my service so much that she really wanted to pay me for it. At first I refused, but later on, I agreed to take some cash -- especially since during that I had financial difficulty. She paid me BIG! Again, I wasn't expecting compensation. I just enjoyed helping her out, and the joy I had from my labor brought on some rewards.
Now, would this happen every single time? Would you always get paid for doing something that you love? No, but the point is that if you do what you enjoy, it would invite the opportunities for compensation. There are plenty of stories of individuals who started huge businesses because they started out doing something that they enjoyed. But even if you don't get compensated, do what you enjoy anyway -- if for any reason, so that you could have something to look forward to.