"Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life” is a popular saying meaning that if you love what you’re doing, then it isn’t work.
“Find something you love to do, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life” was said by the bestselling business author Harvey Mackay in 1989. Mackay is often credited with the saying that he frequently uses, but it’s cited in print before Mackay’s first book, Swim With the Sharks (Without Being Eaten Alive) (1988).
The saying has been credited to the Chinese philosopher Confucius (551 B.C. – 479 B.C.), but none of his writings closely resembles the saying. “Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life” was said to be an “Oriental proverb” in a 1985 book. The popular book, A Father’s Book of Wisdom (1988) by H. Jackson Brown, credited Confucius for the saying.
Wikipedia: Harvey Mackay
Harvey Mackay (born 1932 in Saint Paul, Minnesota) is a businessman and columnist. Mackay is perhaps best known as the author of five business bestsellers, including Swim With the Sharks (Without Being Eaten Alive), Beware the Naked Man Who Offers You His Shirt and Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty. He is a nationally syndicated columnist, and one of America’s most popular business speakers. He is also founder, Chairman and CEO of Mackay Envelope Corporation, whose story he tells in anecdotes sprinkled throughout his books.
How to Start, Expand & Sell a Business:
The complete guidebook for entrepreneurs
By James C. Comiskey
San Jose, CA: Venture Perspectives Press
As an Oriental proverb quite aptly states, “Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
A Father’s Book of Wisdom
By H. Jackson Brown
Nashville, TN: Rutledge Hill Press
Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.—Confucius
20 February 1989, Jet magazine, pg. 31, col. 1:
“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life,” Confucius once said.
4 May 1989, The Stars and Stripes (Darmstadt, Hesse, Germany), pg. 12, cols. 2-4:
Mackay writes again
Businessman Harvey Mackay, of Minneapolis whose first book, “Swim WIth the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive,” sold more than 1 million copies, says he enjoys the water so much he’s diving in again.
“I don’t believe in age,” he said. “Find something you love to do, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life. You find people like that at any age level. Age doesn’t limit people one-tenth of 1 percent.”
20 May 1990, Cedar Rapids (IA) Gazette, advertising supplement, pg. 18, col. 1 (bottom scrawl below an advertisement):
Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.
4 July 1990, Wisconsin State Journal (Madison, WI), Neighbors, pg. 1, col. 1:
FAMOUS LAST LINE
“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”—Confucius (551-479 B.C.).
23 August 1991, Lethbridge (Alberta) Herald, pg. 26, col. 1:
It’s My Paper Too!
If your job is something you enjoy, you never have to work a day in your life.
1 January 1992, Syracuse (NY) Herald-Journal, “Molloy coach Curran likes scholastic niche” by David Ramsay, pg. C2, col. 7:
“You know,” Curran said, “there’s a Confucius saying—not that I’m a fan of his but I like this. It goes, ‘If you choose a job that you enjoy you will never work a day in your life.’ If my mother was alive, she’d be asking me, ‘Jack, when are you going to get a job and go to work?’”
(Jack Curran, basketball coach at Queens’ Archbishop Molloy High School—ed.)
Care Packages for the Workplace:
Little things you can do to regenerate spirit at work
By Barbara A. Glanz
New York, NY: McGraw-Hill
Find something that you love to do and you’ll never have to work a day in your life!
Treasury of Spiritual Wisdom:
A Collection of 10,000 Inspirational Quotations
By Andy Zubko
San Diego, CA: Blue Dove Press
If you choose a job that you like you will never have to work a day in your life.... — Confucius
Ready, Aim, Inspire!:
101 Quotes on Leadership & Teamwork
By Jim Walker
San Jose, CA: Writers Club Press
Find something you love to do and you’ll never have to work a day in your life. —Harvey Mackay
The Mackay MBA of Selling in the Real World
By Harvey Mackay
New York, NY: Portfolio/Penguin
Love what you do. And you’ll never have to work a day in your life. That’s the subtitle of one of my books. Enthusiasm and the love of what you’re doing are necessary to put in all the effort we’ve discussed. When you’re in the zone, you’re unstoppable.