Do what you love?

16 04 2012

Unfortunately I cannot now remember how I came to find this essay … though I do want to share the below extracts from this essay “How To Do What You Love” by Paul Graham (from here).

The first paragraph: “To do something well you have to like it. That idea is not exactly novel. We’ve got it down to four words: “Do what you love.” But it’s not enough just to tell people that. Doing what you love is complicated.

Other parts I found interesting:

  • The test of whether people love what they do is whether they’d do it even if they weren’t paid for it—even if they had to work at another job to make a living. How many corporate lawyers would do their current work if they had to do it for free, in their spare time, and take day jobs as waiters to support themselves?
  • Most people are doomed in childhood by accepting the axiom that work = pain.
  • “Always produce” is also a heuristic for finding the work you love. If you subject yourself to that constraint, it will automatically push you away from things you think you’re supposed to work on, toward things you actually like. “Always produce” will discover your life’s work the way water, with the aid of gravity, finds the hole in your roof.
  • Don’t decide too soon. Kids who know early what they want to do seem impressive, as if they got the answer to some math question before the other kids. They have an answer, certainly, but odds are it’s wrong.
    A friend of mine who is a quite successful doctor complains constantly about her job. When people applying to medical school ask her for advice, she wants to shake them and yell “Don’t do it!” (But she never does.) How did she get into this fix? In high school she already wanted to be a doctor. And she is so ambitious and determined that she overcame every obstacle along the way—including, unfortunately, not liking it.

    Now she has a life chosen for her by a high-school kid.

Not exactly uplifting, though thought-provoking indeed.


Actions

Information




%d bloggers like this: