The talk show host, Dick Cavett, once said that you cannot give entertainment and receive adoration at the same time.

Giving entertainment requires work.

Receiving adulation is passive.

No one worked harder than the Beatles to generate quality songwriting and brilliant entertainment. But they figured out near the end that the time had arrived for them to move on to the next chapter of their lives. The public was desperately upset, but it was as if the Beatles grew up before anyone else. They knew that the content of their work could not be sustained, and they were undoubtedly fed up with the adulation. (They ceased touring four years before they terminated their group.)

I once listened to an interview with Jim Nabors and George Lindsey. You know them, “Gomer Pyle” and “Goober” on The Andy Griffith Show. An enraptured audience member asked, “Did you find yourselves breaking up on the set because your material was so funny?” George said, “No. We were too busy thinking about not stepping on other cast members’ lines, hitting our marks, and making sure we placed ourselves in the correct position for the camera angles. We were doing a job.”

You cannot offer entertainment and receive adoration at the same time.

Potential actors have quit acting when they realize that movies are made off-screen.

Potential college football players quit when they realize they must dedicate thirty or forty hours weekly to football during the season.

Potential dentists quit when they have to take organic chemistry.

Many of the motivations people have for entering a line of work are not the realities of that vocation. Once they immerse themselves in their jobs, they discover challenges that are disconnected from their motivations. It is precisely at this point that they have to maintain the discipline to continue. If they are blessed, they will find new motivations to stir their souls over time. The gap between fantasy and reality will be narrowed and even closed.

I mentioned the Beatles. John, Paul, George, and Ringo all went on to create very good and, in some cases, excellent music in their solo careers. Each made peace with their new way of life: playing before smaller crowds, receiving less adoration, and being perceived as more ordinary human beings instead of members of a supergroup. They adjusted. And they found more happiness and fulfillment in their after-Beatles life.

You may discover that what you aspire to achieve might take much work. As you lean in, you may recognize that your original motivations were not valid. Assess the disconnect between your fantasy and reality. You may find other reasons why your endeavor is worthwhile. And while if you persist, you recognize you will never find the happiness that motivated you to begin your work, you may discover a depth of contentment that you had never known existed. And that contentment will have made the journey in your vocation worthwhile.

You can order Mark’s new book Holy Chaos How To Walk with God in a Frenzied World here: