Dr. Jacqueline B. Sallade offers ideas for maintaining your mental health.
People who love their work are happier, no matter how much they earn, but that doesn't mean they're never frustrated with pieces of the job or aspects of the career or field. Even psychologists I know who are truly dedicated and never want to retire complain about bureaucracy, resistent patients and inconsistent research and standards in the field as a whole. Medical doctors have the same complaints, plus being on call and long hours. Still, they wouldn't trade professions with anyone.
All kinds of artists, including dancers and actors, are among the most thrilled to be doing what they do, but they can be annoyed by the myriad egos they encounter in their work. Often, they feel insecure and self-conscious behind the scenes, hiding behind their characters and suffering personally more than their audiences would ever believe. I've worked with gorgeous models who think they are ugly and fat, broadcasters who experience tremendous anxiety and actors who can't get along with anyone. Yet, they are doing what they always wanted to do and wouldn't give it up for anything.
There are scientists, sales execs, accountants, journalists, professors, computer programmers, lawyers, nurses, teachers who say they love what they're doing. Not all of them, of course, but many say they are personally suited for their jobs. They find fun there and think they do their work well. There's always a down side, though, like needing grant money, tolerating rejections, dealing with ethical dilemmas, and always pleasing bosses. Mostly, they don't change fields, even given the opportunity.
I don't hear restaurant workers, window washers, cleaning crews, construction workers, janitors, machine operators, and skilled workers like welders complaining all that much, either. They may want to advance, or be studying for a degree which will result in another career, but while they're working, they usually adjust and find something to like about it. The flip side is that they also experience the stress of anxiety and physical duress at times. Coal miners sure do. But, mostly, they find a purpose in what they're doing at the time.
That's what I think is the crux of loving what you do, not so much lucking out into the profession you always wanted or were "meant to do," but learning to be good at what you chose or fell into, taking pride in doing it well, refining your skills, and finding joy admidst whatever irritations or pains go along with the job. Then, loving what you do, whether it's playing professional sports for millions or cleaning a factory becomes a happy experience.