Thursday, January 03, 2008

How to do what you love

Rather interesting post

Prestige is like a powerful magnet that warps even your beliefs about what you enjoy. It causes you to work not on what you like, but what you'd like to like.

That's what leads people to try to write novels, for example. They like reading novels. They notice that people who write them win Nobel prizes. What could be more wonderful, they think, than to be a novelist? But liking the idea of being a novelist is not enough; you have to like the actual work of novel-writing if you're going to be good at it; you have to like making up elaborate lies.

True dat. I often think it'll be fun to be a world-class fencer, but the idea of practicing squats ... not so much.

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?

Actually, I find the idea that some corporate lawyers would do their current work for free because they like it.. faintly disturbing. I have respect for lawyers, as with any other profession, but for some reason i find myself adding, "Yeah, I bet mass murderers would be happy to do it for free too."



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