Warren Buffett once lectured at the University of Florida's school of business and gave students sage lessons on careers, finances, and relationships.
Buffett also offered up counsel that you don't hear much of in the cutthroat business world: finding work that you love. "You really should take a job that, if you were independently wealthy, that would be the job you would take," Buffett said in his speech. "You will learn something, you will be excited about it, and you will jump out of bed. You can't miss."
Apple CEO Tim Cook agrees and simplifies this premise even further. In a previous interview, he was asked for his take on achieving personal success. Cook's response: "Do what you love, and put your whole heart into it, and then just have fun."
These recommendations by both billionaires seem almost like an anomaly to the conventional wisdom of sacrifice, hard work, and climbing the corporate ladder.
Doing something you love
When I left the corporate grind and started my leadership coaching and training practice, I knew deep down that it was something I'd always wanted to do--to help leaders thrive. But I didn't quite know that it would become my purpose then; it naturally evolved into becoming a passionate pursuit that I now love.
Yes, purpose. That's what it comes down to if you're to love the work that you do. Your purpose is exactly what you can't help but keep doing. When you discover what this is for you, it's the thing that makes you "jump out of bed" and come alive.
The trap to avoid falling into is making your purpose about money. Yes, building wealth is important for an entrepreneur, but money as the pursuit of happiness should never be the end goal in and of itself; it will wear out fast and you'll never make enough of it to achieve your happiness.
Choose work and a career that align with your sense of purpose -- make this a calling and a mission in life. Money, then, serves a greater cause: to impact human lives and make the world a better place.
More from Cook: "You have to find the intersection of doing something you're passionate about and at the same time something that is in the service of other people. I would argue that, if you don't find that intersection, you're not going to be very happy in life."
The future of work is autonomous, creative, entrepreneurial, and purpose-driven for the good of humanity. It's owning what you do -- whether working for yourself or partnering with peers and colleagues to innovate and build something of value that you all love to do.
I'll end with Buffett, who said, "I love every day. I mean, I tap dance in here and work with nothing but people I like. There is no job in the world that is more fun than running Berkshire, and I count myself lucky to be where I am."