This is a popular question mainly among youth and also some other adult groups. I have seen people who have many hobbies and interests. I have also seen people who are yet to figure that out, even at their late twenties and early thirties.
This question arises in the head of the former group of people. Meanwhile, the latter group just goes with the flow. They may or may not realize it afterwards. Once they figure out their interests and passion they will again have this question in the back of their heads. So, let me make an attempt to answer this question.
What you love – things
This includes your hobbies like singing, dancing, painting, sports and so on. You do these things because you feel happy when you do it. If you are good at it you can polish your skills and can make it your profession. However, if you aren’t really that good at something and that profession has no good scope in your country, then you are going to have a stressful life. You will struggle for money and recognition.
When these two things lack, the people in your circle criticize you and this adds up extra mental stress in your life. That is where the second thought comes and you ask yourself: 'Do what you love or love what you do?'
Love what you do – things
Knowingly or unknowingly, we all are doing things that we don't feel like doing. The reason why you are doing something you don't like could be money, peer pressure or even parental and societal pressure. For instance, you have a hobby or a passion, but it is not helping you for your livelihood. So, you are doing something which is helping you to earn bread and butter. I don't think it is wrong. In fact, you are a social being and you need to live in a family, society, country and world. To live in harmony with all these factors, is equally important.
So, the question arises here.
Is it possible to do what you love?
Yes, definitely. There is nothing like a dictating heart. It all happens at a mental level.
I have seen people who have succeeded in everything they do. A perfect example could be the beauty pageant winners. If you look at their profiles, they are doctors, artists, sportspeople and what not? There are people who can't top in just one field and here they are topping the list in almost everything.
In fact, these people have a high self-esteem. They have been doing different kinds of things in the past and succeeding it which in turn boosts up their confidence. So, they often tell themselves that 'Yes, I can succeed. I love doing it.'
However, this will not come in a few days. If you want to grow a good fruit tree, you will have to take care of it for days, may be years too. To raise your self-esteem, you will have to increase competency in you and that takes time.
Conclusion: Love what you do or do what you love?
Neither of these two things is bad. Like I said, if you are very skilful at something, why don't you make it your profession? Money and recognition will follow you automatically. Similarly, if you aren’t competent enough at something or if that thing is only putting you in troubles, why don't you leave it?
There is another probable case: You are good at something but it will take time for you to earn from it. Now what is the best thing to do?
In such a situation, the best thing to do is that you create a balance between these two things. Love what you do till the time when you can afford to do what you love.