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I think this is the nearest real-life equivalent to "let them eat cake" I have ever seen.

Are you going to pay me to play Xbox with my brother or go out to dinner with my wife and talk about interesting books we've read? Neither is anybody else. For most people, the set of "things I love" and "things people will pay me to do" intersect very little if at all.

(I don't actually have this conundrum. There are a few things I enjoy doing that people will pay me for. But I'm lucky that way. If I suddenly became unable to do those two or three things, I'd be in the situation I described.)




Do something you love is referring to creative passions. Find something creative you love to do and make it your profession. Think of the people making the games you enjoy and how many of them must enjoy what they do because of the obvious quality in the product they are producing. Try to find that for yourself.

If you only love consumption habits, try taking up new hobbies. There must be something that you will enjoy that is constructive.


Think of the people making the games you enjoy and how many of them must enjoy what they do because of the obvious quality in the product they are producing. Try to find that for yourself.

This sounds very naive. I've gone for beer with various people in the gaming industry. From ubisoft QA team leader to indie game programmer to Blizzard Project Manager. All of them were tired of their jobs. For all of them it was "just a job" and sometimes even less. It's these people that I end up going to beer with in normal social contexts. Maybe because the ones who really like their job don't go out. OTOH I know the colleagues in my company who spend too much time on their job and I really wouldn't want to go out with them.


Games programming is probably a bad example because many people follow their passion for gaming into an industry that does not allow many to contribute creatively. If you are hired to make the game engine or tools, few are going to care that you have unique ideas about the actual content of the game. I believe it would be difficult to cope with that in the long term and that people would ultimately "give up" or "get out".

I am interested in the indie game programmers being unhappy. That seems almost paradoxical, unless they were just unsuccessful. I cannot imagine Notch having a stronger passion that making video games.


"Do something you love is referring to creative passions. Find something creative you love to do and make it your profession."

There's nothing like being forced to do something for a living to turn what you love in to a chore.

I used to love programming. Then I did it professionally, day in and day out, for years on end. It didn't take very long to make it a boring chore that I felt I was forced to do.

Then I switched to system administration. At first it was fun and interesting, but as my learning plateaued it became boring as well (not to mention very stressful).

Then it was on to something else. Rinse and repeat..

There are consequences to this sort of career-switching (not to mention to the burnout involved). Usually, it's the specialists with a simple, linear career path that get rewarded. Generalists and jacks-of-all-trades do not typically get much in the way of compensation or respect. Companies will look askance at your switching jobs (not to mention careers) so often, and you will find it difficult to compete with someone who's been doing just that one thing his whole career.

But the problem for people like me is mainly the tendency of getting bored too quickly. We pick up hobbies and interests for a while, but then they bore us -- even if we are not forced to do them for a living (though the rate at which they bore us tend to increase the more we are forced to do them day in and day out).

So what's the solution? There doesn't seem to be one. We just have to suck it up and work at a job that we'll inevitably get bored of and hate.. unless someone wants to pay us to play and to pursue whatever interest strikes our fancy at the moment. And, at least for me, that's probably not happening in this lifetime.


In order to make a decent living creating things, three requirements have to be met:

1) The product has to be valuable enough to a reasonably large number of people

2) You have to be reasonably good at what you do (this isn't a given at all)

3) Very likely, you have to be reasonably good at marketing (and, if we're really serious about the "doing what you love" thing, love marketing)

Even if you really love doing something creative, without the above, you better love it more than eating if you're going to try doing it for a living.


Do something you love is referring to creative passions. Find something creative you love to do and make it your profession.

Again, this is roughly equivalent to "let them eat cake." Creative professions are famously unremunerative.


I'm sorry if this is offensive, but try expanding your horizons.

I love music, and I decided that I spent too much of my life staring at a screen, so I took up the guitar. I am terrible at it, but the feeling you get beating a hard boss on xbox is only a pale shadow of the feeling I get when I am playing music (even badly). And the feeling I get when playing music by myself is only a pale shadow of what I feel when I get together with some friends and some beers, and we play music together.

I love eating, and I found I was spending too much money at fancy restaurants, so I decided to learn how to cook. Cooking dinner during the week after a long day of work is bullshit, but going out on the weekend to a farmers market, getting amazing ingredients, coming home and making something that is wonderful is an amazing feeling. Even more then that, sharing it with your wife, or the rest of your family is even better. Watching people you care about close their eyes with pleasure after taking their first bite of the food you put your heart into is really wonderful, and hard to beat.

Last thing is programming. I am really good at programming, and spend a lot of time perfecting my craft. Several years ago I found I no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't make a good UI to save my life, I didn't enjoy the software I made. So I decided to change that. The first time I solved a problem for someone with software, and did it in a way that left them amazed and delighted, I felt better then all those years banging around with frameworks and sql statements. It was even a small rush either, it was something that was downright addictive. Nowadays I call myself a front-end developer, and I love collaborating with good designers to bring great software to life. But it isn't about twiddling bits for me, it is to make parts of other peoples lives that were kind of rough and not pleasant more joyful.

Creating is hands down the most fulfilling way I can use my time, to the point that consuming is only something I do now if I am too beat from doing creative things. I like to pretend I'm a gamer, but I can't really play a game for more then a few hours now without feeling bored and unfulfilled. I love to read, but nowadays the most time I have for fiction is to wind down before sleep, or in audiobook form on my way to do something else. I used to spend so much time and gain so much enjoyment out of those activities, but actually taking the time to get ok in a few creative disciplines, and the years I spent enjoying those things seem pale by comparison.


The adage should really be "Do what you love AND excel at". If the conversation you had with your wife about books you read was very interesting, you could film it, sell it (or more likely ads around it) and make it your job.

While some passions are easier to monetize then others if you are in the top 100 people that do it, there is a good chance someone will pay you for it.


He said he loves hanging out with his wife. He didn't say he loves blogging or being a voyeurism target.




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