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Eric N

I've been a lazy read for a couple months. I think I'll break from this laziness and respond today:

I dropped out of College back in 2001. I did some Technical training, interned, and pursued work in the IT field because of my passion in technology. After 5 years in this field I've lost this passion, in fact it's been a paper chase ever since.

I've become that dull, boring person you speak of in your post. After work, or on the weekends I'm often found hopping from one trend, toy, or book, to another, not finding anything fulfilling. Then earlier this year I headed back to school. The first class I took was a Computer Science course -- I had high expectations and it didn't turn out so well (professor had trouble teaching). It did, however, inspire me to stick with it.

This past Tuesday was my second class in the path to my Computer Science degree. From the get go the class ignited a part of me I hadn't seen in years. A little spark of passion, of feeling, of interest and intrigue burst into flame. I can't put my finger on if this passion is for programming, heck not even for technology per se... it's a tiny part of me that wants to understand how things work, why things do this or do that, and most importantly to uses these skills, and understanding to create.

I'm reminded of my dream to develop video games. I've always put this idea on the back burner or tried to push it out of my mind because of all the high level math, complicated physics, and programming theory. It was basically a fear of failure and an abject lack of skills that I've realized I can learn. With the skills I can learn, I will be qualified to work in the game programming industry. It's not as high paying, lucrative, or as sexy as my current profession, hell some of my friends with Business will tell me I should just start a game company. I'm not sure how I'll pursue this possible path, but I'm taking steps forward. God is it exciting to think that I am learning to understand complex programming topics I never could understand before, but now flow freely and I understand implicitly.

It's taken me 5 years to break out of my lifestyle, comfort zone, and paycheck to go back to school for just one class. I thought it would be good to slowly acclimate, and I'm right! Now, there's a shift occuring and I am valuing education more and more. It's becoming increasingly exciting as my future potential grows in ways I didn't think possible.

Who knows maybe one day, as a side-effect, I'll be rich. But first I'll be learned.

In sum, I'm tired of chasing money, power, popularity, and attention. It's never satisfying. When you attain anything it leaves you wanting for something bigger, faster, richer, depper, or newer. Some people even think that it's better to make more, because then you can do more. But I disagree. I think the more you make, and the more you pursue, the more you are locked into that lifestyle (pulled by the external). It is when you find that inner fire, and the fuel to drive yourself that these things become irrelevant.

Fred Gratzon

I agree with your friends. Instead of punching a time clock for someone else, start your own business by collaborating with a few people who not only share your passion for creating video games but who have complimentary skills.
I bet nothing would be more fun than that for you.

Yaro

Here here! I always advocate the lazy way, as long as the results flow...eventually. I'm not in any hurry.

Scott M

Of course the real world is not so black and white.

Now, I know that you resort to hyberbole in order to make your article more inspirational. It would be nice if we could all make a living at what we love. The world would be a better place if we were all passionate about our jobs. But reality often intrudes.

First, we can't always make money doing what we really enjoy. Bills must be paid. Mouths must be fed. So using money as a factor to choose a career is a fact of life. If the choice is between doing what you love but being dirt poor, and doing what you merely like (or can tolerate) and being middle class, most people will choose the latter.

Secondly, many jobs are simply not something to get passionate about. Drudge work has to be done, and it's done by people.

I think the more practical advice is:

1. Try to avoid, at all costs, a career you will hate. Whatever it is that is making you choose this career (money, family expectations, etc), DON'T DO IT! If you can't make a living at something you are passionate about, at least find a career you can tolerate. You'll live longer and be a nicer person to be around.

2. If you aren't passionate about your job, be passionate OUTSIDE your job. For most people, it is unrealistic to expect that your job will provide you with most of your fufillment in life. Put in your time, render unto Ceaser, feed the mouths. Then go home and find your fufillment there. Find a hobby, volunteer for a charity, or take a second part-time job where you don't care about the money. Don't expect your primary job to define you.

This is advice for the real world.

steve in sunny florida


Scott seems to be settling, which most people do in life. I listen very carefully to Fred's advice because he has "made it" using these principles. It would be one thing if he never accomplished anything, but we know that is not the case.
H
owever, I am curious as to what Fred thinks of his comments...

Maria

Hi, i read the original idea about working in what you are passionate about and then the 'real world' perspective offered later. Although i appreciate both, it is a difficult thing to assume that people have to do the drudge work. People dont have to do anything, society is what you and i make of it. If this society needs so much 'stuff' and so many 'other people' to do things that we could do for our own communities its probably a result of the fact that where people are working in an area that doesnt make them happy they have to somehow aneisthesize themselves to that dull life.

Consider a world that from the beginning focused on doing things that made them happy. Surely we would have alot more art, many more explorers, discoveries, mathematical and scientific breakthroughs, that is, if everyone really pursued their dream no matter what. Yes this alternate society would not be perfect, it would probably have just as many faults as society as it stands, that cannot be helped.

Finally, i dont know if i have said this or not but 'reality' doesnt exist, its like 'money', what is money, its paper, what is paper its trees. Trees with ink on it and yet we give it so much importance, we become subservants to something that was made up with precisely this purpose in mind. Reality is fleeting and subjective, the point is to make your own reality and not to accept what has been told to you because your afraid to step in another direction.

When you and i and whoever choose a way of life we are starting a social dialogue, we are creating realities. If you accept a reality that seems easier you are merely ensuring that the current societal rhetoric will re-establish itself for yet another generation.

People can only be happy if they give themselves permission to be.


Jeff

I found your advice inspiring but I was wondering what you would say to someone who is having difficulty choosing something to love? I'm not suggesting that someone must restrict themself to one thing, but my problem is that I am interested in so many things. If people are timid about leaving a steady paycheck to pursue one love, imagine my trepidation when there are many many things I would love to learn or do. Having more time would definitely allow me to focus on any one of these interests or more. But I have a hard time seeing that route as sustainable. Any advice?

Fred Gratzon

Dear Jeff,

Brainstorm until you think of a project that comes at the intersection of several of your loves. That way you can embrace several birds with one hug. And that way you will doubly/triply/quadruply/quintuply motivated.

And if you find something that intersects 24 of your loves, you will be quattuorvigintuply motivated.

TINU

U Have said love someone but in one's life love on something might changeable according to time, what one can do in that situation in choosing one's career and my problem is that i love cooking and many other things but it not easy for me to choose my hobby as a profession and may be my family also dislikes it please advise.

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it's a good advice to start a new business when you find it hard to find a job suited for you, or do some sidelines for a while.

- Jack Leak

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