Wednesday, March 12, 2014

You should do what you love and love what you do

This is my "this I believe" essay.

I believe you should do what you love and love what you do. I have had this belief since I can remember, but it was really solidified this year as I have begun to think about which career path I want to pursue.
Ever since I was a little kid I've been hearing the phrase, "if you love what you do you never work a day in your life." To me this sounds like the perfect arrangement. My father, as a little boy, was fascinated by trains. Today he is a train driver for Pam Am Railways, one of the largest freight train corporations in the world. While his work hours change month to month- and normally gets home in the middle of the night if he hasn't been put in a hotel until his next shift- he loves his job. He's living his childhood dreams of driving mile-long trains and pulling the infamous rope, blasting the train horn at every intersection.
I've been told I'm smart enough to get into law school, a doctor program, or that I'd make a great veterinarian; while these are all wonderful careers, they just aren't for me. When I envision myself in the world I see myself doing something with much more flexibility, like photography, architecture, or writing. Doing all three of those things is fun for me, and I really can't imagine doing anything that isn't creative.
Considering I haven't been in the quote on quote, real world, yet, there is only one moment where I can remember thinking, "why do this if I'm not gonna like it?" It happened this year while I was meeting with my guidance counselor about what classes I was going to have to make up next year, when the subject of math came up. Mrs. Clark wanted to know what math class I wanted to take. My initial thought was, "I don't want to take a math class," but I thought better of it and told her I was interested in personal finance. Well, come to find out, personal finance doesn't count as a math grade, it counts as an extra credit. Other than calculus, I wasn't really sure what other math classes the school offered. So she suggested algebra two. I thought about it and I eventually came to the conclusions that no, I didn't want to take algebra two. My excuse? "I'm never gonna use it anyway." Pretty cliché. Math isn't my strong suit, but mostly because it doesn't interest me. Naturally I was ornery about the situation, but eventually gave in. So, while I'm now roped into next years algebra two class, it's safe to say that I'll never be an accountant.
Your own happiness in life depends wholly on yourself. If you have a job where it takes three cups of coffee and a freezing cold shower to get your feet moving, why are you doing it? Try doing something where it only takes you one cup of coffee and the promise of a warm shower to get up and going. This I believe.

Here is a link to my podcast of my this I believe essay:

1 comment:

  1. Hey Colleen, You have a lovely way of writing in this essay. I don't know if it just comes out of you or if you work on editing and making it flow, but it reads very smoothly. And I'm with you on "do what you love, love what you do". It takes being very insightful about the present -- what gives you passion and hope -- and also the future -- how to get to your goal. Sometimes the two don't mix too well, like having to take algebra II when you love photography and writing. (Personal finance was a good idea, don't give up on that even if it doesn't count as a math!) But Algebra II gets you towards your long-term goal: graduation, college, a career as an architect even. When you say "your own happiness in life depends wholly on yourself", I hear the self-confidence and drive that you have. Make those less pleasant pieces of the path to your goal something that you're proud of doing and doing well, and you are cultivating that power I hear in you. Good luck!