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From my blog at tumblr
-You have to do something you not only enjoy, but admire...and be able to say, "Wow, that's cool."- Paul Graham
Post by Paul Graham of YCombinator in 2006. Read it slowly. Read it twice. I've coughed up some notes I took below. http://www.paulgraham.com/love.html
Being Young: We grow up wanting to impress others or take routes commonly tread by people we know. These often lead to paths in common arenas such as finance, law, medicine, RE and others. I like what PG says about these career paths...they are tempting to young people because they are available, they make a decent wad of cash...but they are likely pretty tedious in most cases. Young people take these jobs because that is what they've always been exposed to: by family, friends, college network...I know that was my case. The problem is kids take these jobs and feel like they can't jump out of them later...it's too risky.
His anecdote about his friend who is a doctor was interesting as well. She is miserable as a doctor but makes good money...however, she is now stuck in a career that was chosen by a high school kid. She's miserable. My father relayed similar sentiment to me about his career.
Other Pressures: I'm glad he addressed 'prestige' in such a great manner. People close to me know that I put a lot of pressure on myself to achieve. If you do what you love and do it well, although not prestigious at first, it could become so. To be recognized has always been one of my goals, to a fault, and only recently am I realizing how gray and lonely that desire for prestige can make you feel. In aiming for prestige, you often miss- ending up doing something you hate or not being good at the desired field. "Prestige causes you to work not on what you like, but what you'd like to like."
The Search/What to Do Now: His phrase 'are you dropping out or carving a new path' struck me immediately and reminded me of myself. However, finding something you love may require you to do some things you don't for a while...and that's fine, as long as you are producing...if you want to be a novelist, are you writing anything? A business owner, creating anything?
'It's hard to find work you love; it must be if so few do. So don't underestimate this task. And don't feel bad if you haven't succeeded yet. If you know you can love work, you're in the home stretch, and if you know what work you love, you're practically there.'