02/22/2013 07:40 pm ET Updated Apr 24, 2013

How It Feels to Love What You Do

There's been a lot of "I love you's" and displays of affection thrown around this last week or so. I didn't have a Valentine. But that doesn't mean I didn't experience love on Valentine's Day. No, I'm not going to write about how you can celebrate Valentine's with your friends and have fun, or about treating yourself and showing some self-love. I mean, you should totally do both of these things. But I'm going to write about loving what you do, whether it's a job, club, or hobby.

We tend to think that love is reserved for people. Which makes sense in some ways. Your part-time job will never look at you like you're a work of art or tuck a piece of hair behind your ears. FBLA or NHS probably can't take you out to dinner and the movies, and no matter how many times you say "I love to run," your Nike sneakers or running route can never say, "I love you too." Obviously, inhuman objects can't show us love in the physical and verbal ways that people can.

But jobs, clubs and hobbies can make you proud to be a part of them. Or they can make you excited. They can also make you scared, nervous, angry and all of those crazy emotions. Most importantly, they can make you happy. Which is the whole point of love, anyways.

When you love what you do, it's not forced. You're not using it as solely a resume-builder or simply another stepping stone in your career or education. You don't put in hours just to be able to list it on the Common App. You want to be the best employee, member, etc. that you can be, but at the same time, you're not constantly stressing or being overly-competitive.

You don't feel the need to constantly post about how successful you are at your job or how great you are as soccer team captain on Facebook or Twitter or any other social networking site. Yes, the occasional status or tweet is sometimes called for, but what it comes down to is that you know how much you love what you do. And, at the end of the day, that's what matters.

Perhaps the most important component of loving what you do is this: you don't quit what you love, even when it's stressful or difficult. Maybe you'll have terrible writer's block for weeks, constantly trying to write something worth reading. But, you just end up with half-written pieces that don't quite make sense or don't strike enough of a chord with you to continue with. But, you don't quit. No, you stay with it. Even when you can easily give up or when it's tempting to go try something new.

You can literally find love everywhere and anywhere. You can find it at your part-time job as a math tutor. Or maybe you'll find it participating in your school's student government or competing on the Scholastic Bowl team. You could find it at that coffee shop down the street, where you go to brainstorm and write. And maybe as you're typing up your latest piece, you'll make eye contact with someone. They could be typing something on their laptop too or editing photos or sketching in a notebook and you two will share a knowing smile. Because you both understand how it feels to love what you do.