Original article by Paul Graham
“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.

The very idea is foreign to what most of us learn as kids. When I was a kid, it seemed as if work and fun were opposites by definition. Life had two states: some of the time adults were making you do things, and that was called work; the rest of the time you could do what you wanted, and that was called playing. Occasionally the things adults made you do were fun, just as, occasionally, playing wasn’t—for example, if you fell and hurt yourself. But except for these few anomalous cases, work was pretty much defined as not-fun.

And it did not seem to be an accident. School, it was implied, was tedious because it was preparation for grownup work.

The world then was divided into two groups, grownups and kids. Grownups, like some kind of cursed race, had to work. Kids didn’t, but they did have to go to school, which was a dilute version of work meant to prepare us for the real thing. Much as we disliked school, the grownups all agreed that grownup work was worse, and that we had it easy.

Teachers in particular all seemed to believe implicitly that work was not fun. Which is not surprising: work wasn’t fun for most of them. Why did we have to memorize state capitals instead of playing dodgeball? For the same reason they had to watch over a bunch of kids instead of lying on a beach. You couldn’t just do what you wanted.

I’m not saying we should let little kids do whatever they want. They may have to be made to work on certain things. But if we make kids work on dull stuff, it might be wise to tell them that tediousness is not the defining quality of work, and indeed that the reason they have to work on dull stuff now is so they can work on more interesting stuff later.

Once, when I was about 9 or 10, my father told me I could be whatever I wanted when I grew up, so long as I enjoyed it. I remember that precisely because it seemed so anomalous. It was like being told to use dry water. Whatever I thought he meant, I didn’t think he meant work could literally be fun—fun like playing. It took me years to grasp that.”

Follow your passion! 

Passion is the trump card here, the ever so slept on secret ace in everyone's hand. When the passion that drives you becomes the work you choose to do and the actual work you do is something you love, sometimes, its easy to forget that it is work at all. A lot of people believe they are stuck and for one reason or another, not able to do what they love. People got to go to work, kids got to go to school, everybody has got to be in big rush, right?

The clock is a funny thing. When you are "on the clock" doing whatever it is you "have" to do, if you like what you are doing and the people around you are reasonable or even enjoyable to be around, the time seems to fly by. On the flip side, if you loath your job, everyone else that works there, the service or task you personally are responsible for, the clock might as well be unplugged because time just seems to drag on and on. When you get to do what you want all day and night, your "job" is whatever you choose it to be and you can come and go freely because you are your own boss, there is no clock to worry about. 

When you can do whatever it is you want to do to make a thriving business for yourself and do it at your leisure, the clock is just another thing to be grateful for. To use all your time working on what you love, to me, means that you have balanced family, love, commerce, spirituality, and all aspects of life to the tune of your inner fire. You are the only person responsible for living the life you desire.

You can choose to live the life you desire to live. Doing that means, living the life you want to live 24 hours a day, not just the 6 to 8 hours we'd be spending on the job, not to mention the commute to and from wherever it was. If you want to be healthy, happy, and successful than there are things that have to be done to achieve those things for yourself. Only you can determine what you will give in return for the life of your deepest desires. 

At the beginning and end of ever day, the options are suffer doing something you don't want to be doing, which could potentially get you a twenty five cent raise every other year and keep a few hundred bucks a week coming in consistently...


Spend your life doing what you love and getting better at it every time you do what it is that you love, potentially leaving you broke and struggling to survive until generating enough money to do whatever you want, whenever you want, wherever you want, with whoever you want...

What will you do?

Doing what you love takes guts, period. If you truly want something, you are the only one that can do something about it. The fact of the matter is, you can do what you love to do and thrive.

But... you have to choose to.


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