I recently read this essay titled “How To Do What You Love” by Paul Graham. In it, he outlines some of his processes for choosing to do what he loves. It’s a pretty realistic essay, as well. No bones about it: choosing to do what you love can be complicated and fraught.
- First, you need to identify what that is. And don’t be mislead: it may not be one thing. It could look like a variety of pursuits, all of which combine to become the life you love.
- Once you’ve found that thing or combination of things that bring you joy, start doing it! Whether you can only squeeze it in part-time or you decide to jump in with both feet, do it.
- Finally, the doing of what you love can be both a pleasure and a pain. There will be ups and downs. You will wonder why you ever decided to do what you do. You may change what you do, modify or adapt it so that you love it even more. But like anything else, the pursuit of a life well-lived and well-loved is a practice. Practice daily if you can, weekly at least. Keep at it.
I’ve concluded for myself that there really isn’t anything else to do in my life than to do what I love. In other words, if I’m not doing what I love (or doing something I need to do so that I can do what I love), then what’s the point? My life is mine to be lived, not someone else’s. Whether doing what you love looks like raising a family or painting a canvas, or writing a novel or starting a cooking show, whatever you choose – I say: choose what you love. It’s rarely the “easier” road, but it is by far the more fulfilling.