Do what you love and do it often

Posted on February 9th, 2012

Have you seen this? A call to action by The Holstee Manifesto, originally a side project selling shirts, that’s since turned into a “message” (can you become a message? I reckon you can) that’s been viewed over 60 million times online. I like this:

When they quit their jobs to form Holstee, the three founders – Mike, Fabian and Dave – wrote down exactly what was on their minds and the tips of their tongues. It wasn’t about shirts. It was about what they wanted from life, and how to create a company that breathes that passion into the world everyday. It was a reminder of what we live for, and the result became known as the Holstee Manifesto.

I like this clip, even if the obviousness of the little mantras make me feel a little awkward. But I guess it’s the obviousness that works – what we need to remind ourselves of is so stupidly, cringe-ely simple and when we have it delivered to us in an everyday way it grips the heart. No?

Do what you love. Do what you love. Do what you love.

I have this thing at the moment…

Every time I feel the “uggghhhs”  – you know that feeling that takes over from the inside out, a bit like a shiver, a bit like a gut clench, when you’re doing something that grates against your being –  I stop and question whether I really need to do it. Do I love it? Does it nourish me? Can I learn to view it as something I love, and not resent?

The latter, by the way, is a good challenge. A switch in view can often see something “uggghhhy” reposition as something really quite lovely. And sometimes we just have to do this, to get something that has to be done, done.

If the answer, however, is still no, I abort. My life, my well being is worth more. Since I started doing this I’ve become aware of just how much doesn’t have to done, followed up, completed. I trap myself into thinking that because I’ve been asked for something, or offered something, or because it’s on my to do list, or because “it’s the way I’ve always done it”…I have to do it.

But if I feel the uggghhhs, I pull back now. Do I really have to see that person, go out tonight, respond to that email? Do YOU really have to?

Do you know what I mean by the ugggghhhs? Are you tapped into yourself enough to recognise it when it’s trying to talk to you? That’s the hardest bit, I think.

PS: here’s their manifesto as a poster which you can buy via their site.

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  • Maryann

    I agree a lot of the Manfesto is obvious but sometimes we need to reminded of the obvious. Thanks Sarah


  • Love this Sarah. I’ve been thinking about how much pressure I’ve been putting on myself to reply to every email/ answer every text/ comment/ tweet and so on lately… and when I dig deeper, it mostly comes back to a fear of looking sloppy or unreliable (or worse – letting the person feel that they aren’t important enough to warrant a response). How do you go with that? Do you think it’s just an ego thing on my behalf – ie: wanting to look capable and on top of everything at all times, every when life is crazy and it’s to the detriment of my health?

    I think I’m slowing becoming better at saying no from the outset, or lowering expectations by saying “I might be able to but I’ll see how I go” but even still, I find I push until it’s done simply because it’s “on the list.” Good on you for pulling back, going to start taking your lead and asking the questions you mentioned above of myself as well.


  • I had tears swelling up when the part about love came along. Its crap sometimes. You know these things and yet trudge on…yes what is it? A duty. A your life a job or the attitude to your job?
    I’ve started a journey, of studying a course I’ve wanted to do for years because I can see, feel and know thats my path to take.
    Realising and doing, taking that opportunity creates amazing moments in life. Finally I have had the courage and arrived at the place of what I know I will love to do with my life. The compass points North …so follow.


  • MirandaBB

    Hi Sarah
    I love simple… it works for me. Like your wonderful ‘what’s for you won’t pass you by’ post, this call to action to ‘do what you love and do it often’ resonates so much with me right now . I quit my job – a while ago – and have been lost about what to become (deliberate word choice – the awareness is important). I’m enlivened by the words and the clip’s energy. I love the idea it’s given me to write my own manifesto!


  • Yep, I know what you mean by the ugghs. I know the consequences of ignoring them too. I pushed myself through eight years of …what would be the extreme version of an ugghh…the arghs, and my health has totally collapsed as a result. So now I’m doing much as you are, and trying to do much as the manifesto says.

    I have to take issue with one thing though – “all emotions are beautiful”. Surely not. Envy, greed, jealousy? Beautiful? Sorry, but I can’t see the beauty in those.


    hanuni Reply:

    I felt the same way about that sentence! And also I found the “stop watching more tv” a bit judge-y but mostly its lovely


    hanuni Reply:

    “stop watching (more) tv”!??! Freudian slip on my part?


    Mia Bluegirl Reply:

    I dunno, I think I could agree that all emotions are beautiful. Not necessarily pleasant, and not necessarily convenient… but still beautiful. They prove the contrast and rawness and richness that makes life so rewarding, if that makes sense? Without the shades of grey, or the clouds through which the sunlight peeks in, we would have no sense of comparison. These times of anger, greed, jealousy etc are sometimes when we can learn the most about ourselves. Some of my sharpest insights come from my darkest days.

    It’s like art. Have you seen Brett Whiteley’s Babboon painting? It is meant to be about herion addiction. It is entirely unpleasant especially in light of his subsequent death from overdose, and brings up a whole lot of negative feelings. But man, is it beautiful. I guess these emotions bother me a lot less when I compare them to times of depression, where I have felt nothing. I think when viewed in this light, all emotions can be beautiful.

    The actions that result from these emotions, on the other hand, not always beautiful!


    PP@pimpmybricks Reply:

    Yes, it does – it makes good sense, and you’ve swayed me.


  • Love this. Really need these sort of reminders right now.


  • Those of us with food intolerance know well what is meant by the expression TRUST YOUR GUT!! I think that this manifesto really speaks to that. I’ve been making plans… and I’m pretty excited about where I’m going!


  • Mia Bluegirl

    Love it Sarah! Just what I needed this morning! Nail. Head. You hit it. Gorgeous.

    I have that poster saved in an images file on my work PC that is full of beautiful things I can peer at when I’m feeling ugggghhhh. Sometimes when you are having a bad day, words like this that make you go all soft and gooey on the inside can really change your outlook, and help you make more authentic decisions.

    I’m going to go tell someone I love them now. xx


  • I love this..I wrote a list of all the things I like doing and when I feel overwhelmed or “ugh” I look to them for inspiration. I love cooking and writing…but sometimes doing nothing is best.


  • Yes, I know that ugg feeling and I’ve found myself listening to it more and more! I think one of the gifts of having illness is the razor focus that you eventually gain as you really decide what you can/want to do and what doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things.


  • Great post. I had the ugggghhhhhs last nite. I had planned to go home, go to the gym, buy veggies and make soup for dinner on top of a 12 hour day. So I decided no, change plans. I walked 5kms home at dusk. (relaxing yet good exercise) Bought $7 felafel kebabs for dinner (yum), didn’t have to stand up making soup and instead kicked back on the lounge with a glass of wine. It turned out to be a brilliant nite at home with my partner.


  • Ugggghhhs is right, I’ve been getting more ugggghhhs everyday not wanting to do the things or meeting the people I don’t like & it’s probably about time too however in this materialistic world we have all made for ourselves that can’t always be, someone has got to put out the garbage, mop the floors, clean the loo’s, work in a hazardous or unclean jobs & so on it goes.

    Our materialistic physical world is demanding upon ourselves so not everyone can go & do everything they want, it’s the world we chose for ourselves & that’s it unless we want a change for the better personally & holistically.

    The ugggghhhs comes from a change I think most people are aware of now, a new conscious awareness which will bring much love & understanding to all.

    We are starting to realise there is more to life & we can change our lives for the better holistically. The conscious change is making us feel the ugggghhhs more & more because we are starting to open up consciously. I have always said that the conscious change will happen gradually but most people won’t even really know until all of a sudden they are there in this conscious change, presumably by Dec 2012…….Love Mathew


  • Great post! I love it when people bring it back to the simple essence of why we’re here and what we should be spending our time on, it is only a pity that it has to be a “manifesto” and not a more organic process.

    Whilst I agree that as a species, we’ve warped the big vision a lot with the economy and material issues, I also think that if we’re living mindfully and authentically, we can make choices that take us away from that mindset and towards one we prefer.

    A lot of people shun the mainstream way of life, not only questioning why they are conforming to something that is completely against their values but also taking action with that conviction in order to live the life they want to. I know I have some way to go before I can say the same for myself, but I’m getting there.

    Sarah, I’m not sure if you know Beth’s blog too, but it’s a really nice resource for other’s taking the steps to doing what they love and there’s some really inspiring stories there –


  • Karla

    Honestly Sarah sometimes I think you’re inside my head, lol.


  • D.

    I know exactly what you mean by “uggghhhs” – it’s like you are not yourself while you’re doing something, like you were not supposed to be doing it, like it is unnatural to you. The wisdom lies in recognizing that feeling, the courage lies in deciding not to do it anymore.


  • Deborah

    I work for myself as a Tax Accountant – sad but true, sadder and just as true is that I love what I do, not because I love the ATO and tax, but because I love being in a position to help my clients – sounds corny I know – BUT – and here’s the big BUT – I do not do this for the money, in fact money is the last thing on my list of priorities. I do this because I have a really great group of clients who have become friends and I care about my friends and enjoy having time with them.

    Working for myself was a scary step to take, however, it allows me the time to say NO to things I don’t want to do and to say YES to time with my family, friends, myself and do things that I want to do.

    I had an enormous case of the “uggghhhs” in 2008 so I stopped what I was doing, stepped back and thought about what I really wanted.

    Sure I needed to work and earn a living, but what I really wanted was to be “here” for my elderly parents (Dad 92 and Mum with Alzheimer’s), my family and myself. So I quit my horrible job with one of the big four accounting firms and struck out on my own.

    It’s the best thing I’ve ever done. Money is tight sometimes, but I don’t really care any more, we get by – I have time to do the things I want to do and most importantly I have TIME for my family.

    Now I feel like I’m LIVING and not just existing and on those days when I think “ugghh” I stop what I’m doing, go pat the dog, make a cup of tea and think about what it is that’s making me cringe and come back at it from another angle.

    Life isn’t short, it’s what you make it.


    MirandaBB Reply:

    Hi Deborah – a lovely post and you sound like a wholistic tax accountant – need more of those! I have a gorgeous card on my desk with the quote ‘Every calling is great, when greatly pursued’ (Oliver Wendall Holmes). Sounds exactly like what you’re doing – all the best…


  • Sig

    I love those words – in fact, I have them framed on my desk so I can see it every time I sit down and remind myself of them.

    Another great quote I love is – “To thine own self, be true”

    Simple, but it never fails to get to focus on the things that make me happy.


  • Anthony

    Sarah, I listen closely when people are talking, to not only what they are saying but how they are saying it. In many cases their language is very negative and defeatist. I can’t, I don’t know are a couple of examples. To be quite honest I don’t believe them. They just have to change those few words to, I can, I do know, and you can begin to see and feel the power of positive language in making a change in your life. To begin to put into action change in your life to where you really want to and where you deserve to be. Yes, Yes. Cheers


  • I don’t know about this….the “do what you love” concept. I’m totally on board with not doing things just because they’re expected of you, or if they go against your values, or they just don’t need to be done. but the idea that you should “do what you love” like you just know what your passion is and do it is a crock, to me. And a source of too much anquish. There’s an argument presented here:, about how your passions are actually things you become good at – they’re not predetermined. And the idea that you love what you do implies you always enjoy it, or it comes naturally. I think that’s a dangerous fallacy to perpetuate. I prefer the idea that you choose something and work at it, and that’s when love for it and opportunities come. I understand not doing something that you loathe, but doing something that’s at least ok, actually committing to it and doing the work, seems more important to me than “finding your passion” and will probably lead to more satisfaction and happiness anyway.


  • Trevor Otto

    When one is in touch with the True Self, living in the moment, all tasks become play whether sweeping the floor or doing a presentation. Our common mistake is looking for fulfilment in the task or experience,which by it’s nature is fleeting and usually only semi satisfactory or distracting.This is all due to our materialistic attitudes and lack of awareness of our spiritual natural strengths. For me the most valid emotion is Delight,

    Love youse all,


  • Alysa


    I loved your comment – wise words!



  • From all of us at Holstee- thanks for sharing! I’m a big fan of your site and it made my day to see our video on here! 🙂

    Much love from New York City to Australia!


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  • Awesome Sarah! I posted somewhat of a similar message on a smaller scale yesterday – rings so true with me at the moment! Keep up your wonderful work!