Paul Graham, serial entrepreneur and big cheese behind Y-Combinator (funded over 450 startups, including Dropbox, Airbnb, Stripe, and Reddit) has a fantastic collection of essays containing all sorts of wisdom garnered over his years working.
Here’s some highlights from a great one on “How to Do What You Love”
1. Do what you love.
a. But doesn’t mean do what you most love this second i.e. you have to work at it.
b. Whichever route you take, expect a struggle. Finding work you love is very difficult. Most people fail. Even if you succeed, it’s rare to be free to work on what you want till your thirties or forties. But if you have the destination in sight you’ll be more likely to arrive at it. 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.
‘Love’ and ‘Passion’ are often thrown around when it comes to aspects of corporate culture necessary to produce engagement and shiny happy workers, but there’s a reason. Think of how much emotion is bound up in the nature of those words. Emotions are personal because they’re your feelings. If you want to get engagement with an enterprise, then people have to feel about it and that meands finding something they can match a passion for or develop love for.
As Paul says, most struggle but it’s a worthy struggle. Aim for love and even if you only hit ‘really like’, you’ll still be better off than the cubefarm.