Life — Doing What You Love (340)

A lot of people will tell you that you should learn what you love doing and then find a way to make an income from it. “If your job is something you love doing, you’ll never work a day in your life.” But at the same time, I’ve also heard advice that you shouldn’t make your passion your job, because soon you won’t enjoy it anymore. If you love writing, making it your profession would supposedly kill the enjoyment you get from it.

I think there’s merit to both arguments. There are certainly situations in which making what was a hobby a job could run the potential of making that thing less enjoyable. If woodcarving is your release, and how you relax after a long day, getting commissions and suddenly having to stress over completing the project in time may not be the best course of action.

But taking all of that into consideration, I think a lot of life is about learning not only about the world around you, but about yourself. You can’t make a blanket statement and say that a hobby can’t turn into a job without positive results. It clearly works for a lot of people. The question then becomes: Is doing your passion professionally good idea for you?

In general, I think its best to give it a shot. The ideal thing here is to work a job that you enjoy, and one of the easiest and simplest ways to accomplish that is by getting a job where you do what you love. If you find that the added wait of making this hobby a profession adds too much stress to enjoy something, you can always stop. Just quit the job. If you like woodcarving but don’t like the time constraints commissions may add, you can always go back to having woodcarving be just a hobby.

In the end, this process will have the guaranteed effect of making you learn about yourself. Maybe you found that getting money from woodcarving was pretty dang cool, but it was specifically the time constraints and the stress that occurred because of it that you didn’t like. In that case, you can step back and re-calibrate what you want to be doing. Maybe instead of offering commissions, you can simply sell things online when you’re done with them. That way you can still have fun doing it, work at your own pace, and get money.

I’m a firm believer that any hobby can be worked into a job. If one does enough exploring and self-discovery, the capability of finding a job one enjoys is always out there, even if its not a job you expected to enjoy. For example, I didn’t expect to enjoy writing in this blog. It was purely a means to force me to write more often. by a happy coincidence, I also enjoy writing on the various topics on a weekly basis, in addition to the fiction.

So, don’t let anyone’s advice on what you should be studying in school, or what jobs you should and should not apply for scare you. The process of self-discovery is always working on the sidelines, so no matter what you end up doing, you’ll end up closer to what you really should be doing with your life.

4 thoughts on “Life — Doing What You Love (340)

  1. Something else to take into consideration is how often you would be willing to do your hobbies. I enjoy coding and art, but I wouldn’t make a profession of either, because I simply enjoy doing it from time to time. Coding for hour after hour isn’t fun for me, but coding every once in a while to finally tweak out something I’ve wondered whether or not was possible is.

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  2. I think this saying is also being twisted, or the philosophy behind it is.

    “Do what you love so you don’t work a day in your life” isn’t quite right. I think the idea is supposed to mean “do something that you love and enjoy” rather than “turn your love and joys into work.”

    Say, for example, someone really loved making model train sets, so they turned this into their job. They build nice train sets for people – this is the wrong approach, and would probably fail 99% of the time. Instead, maybe someone loves building train sets, so they do something else for work that involves building and creating things.

    I really like just making things, especially when they are useful. Some of my favorite hobbies take this idea and run with it – building things in Minecraft or other such survival/crafting games. This can be found in some of my work (and, as it turns out, my favorite parts of work) where I actually build a part of a website. Where I can build something that serves a purpose.

    One is a hobby – makin’ stuff in vidjamagames – and the other is the job – building a backend reporting system so people can view progress.

    I think this the core idea behind the “do what you love” philosophy.

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