Doing what you love

But the fact is, almost anyone would rather, at any given moment, float about in the Carribbean, or have sex, or eat some delicious food, than work on hard problems. The rule about doing what you love assumes a certain length of time. It doesn’t mean, do what will make you happiest this second, but what will make you happiest over some longer period, like a week or a month.

~ Paul Graham from, http://www.paulgraham.com/love.html

There have been just a few bits about this topic arranged on the Internet. I’ve written several times here myself, and linked to many things like this one from Graham. The ultimate point that I’d like to make is simply that the necessary part of solving the problem for yourself is to ask yourself such questions.

If you’re simply going through life reacting to whatever you find before you, then any arm-chair, ivory tower, philosophizing about the meaning of life, one’s purpose, or finding one’s Life’s Work, is completely pointless. I’m not criticizing going through life in reacting mode; if one is crushed by situation or station, then you necessarily have your work cut out for you.

But presuming you have some slack—and be honest, you are on the Internet, so you have enough slack…

Presuming you have some slack, what questions are you asking yourself?

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Working hard

http://www.raptitude.com/2010/02/3-pieces-of-advice-id-give-my-18-year-old-self-if-i-could/

Not that I’m blaming society for my troubles as a young adult, but nobody ever seemed to have a very good explanation for why I actually might want to work hard and challenge myself. Not “have to”, or “need to,” but “want.” The reason was always, “It’s just something you should do,” or “You’ll be glad you did when you’re my age.”

~ David Cain

True story: I once got a job working at a golf course as a grounds keeper. I’d bicycle ~10 miles at first-light and my dad picked me up after work. I’d string trim (the entire golf course — wrap your brain around that), edge sand traps (by hand using a machete to cut the edge of the lawn) and then rake the sand. I chain-sawed trees that fell on the course, and I painted wrought-iron in the blazing sun. Every weekday for an entire summer.

I learned two things:

A deep respect for physical labor.

…and that I wanted to go to college and be a scientist working in a lab, or maybe with computers.

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