Sam Smith: Do it for the love

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I spent the last two weeks interviewing college students for openings on our staff. My colleague regularly asks students in the interviews what music they’re listening to now. It sparks some good discussions, but it also enlightens me about the current music scene. Otherwise, I’m pretty oblivious to new music.

Every year after interview season I go get some of the music the students recommend. This year, Sam Smith was the most mentioned name. One student described him as the male version of Adele. That sold me. I’m not a streaming service fan (yet) because I just don’t need that much music in my life, so I went to iTunes and downloaded Sam Smith’s album, In The Lonely Hour. And it’s really good. He’s got a powerful, soulful voice for such a young guy.

The first track, though, Money On My Mind, has this line: “I don’t have money on my mind. I do it for the love.”

Intrinsic rewards for the win. Put your focus on the thing itself and honing and fine-tuning it for your delight. Don’t be distracted by any potential extrinsic reward.

We don’t make movies to make money. We make money so we can make more movies. –Walt Disney

Find those things you do just for the love, not for the money or the recognition. Even if you can’t make a living from the things you do for love, do them anyway. Make them hobbies and side-hustles. Your best work comes from that place, and it’s the path to a more authentic, more alive kind of life.



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