Saturday, February 11, 2006

How to do something you like?

How to do something you like?" is the latest post on the blog page of Paul Graham.
This guy is has an amazing clarity of thoughts, its a delight to read him. I'm sure, if he publishes a book compiling all his articles that would be an instant best seller. Thats the reason I keep visiting his website and quickly read any new post before he decides to publish them and removes from the internet {Waise now as I'm thinking over it, I'm realising that's a really stupid botheration in this age of open source}. Anyways in the article he explains why most people are not able to do something they like despite the fact that its most obvious thing to do.

He talks about three powerful forces leading us astray. The first is the conditioning that we get from childhood that work is supposed to be pain. My inherent lathargy and reluctance to work in general on painful and boring stuff has saved me from this conditioning. The second force that he mentioned was money. It sure is a powerful force but since I'm working at a job which pays me much less than what I can earn otherwise, I think this force hasn't affected me much either. This I believe is due to my upbringing in an environment in which money was treated the way it should be. It was not something which was very important, neither it was something which was to be treated with disrespect. It was just a thing to buy food, clothes and video game coins. The third thing he mentioned was prestige. Well prestige does have its effects on me. Sadly, I do think about what other people will think about what I'm doing. That's the reason I've not been able to take singing classes despite a deep desire to be able to sing aloud without feeling embarrassed. He defines prestige as consideration of what people other than your friends will think. As I'm writing this blog I'm thinking what some random person reading it, will think about me. Mr. Shishir Gupta get this phony prestige thing out of your mind.

One thing that Paul mentioned in his article was really heartening; if you don't know what you like then that's not such a serious problem. What the hell do I like? I remember myself, in my early teens arguing with my mother why being a movie director is not such a bad career choice. That's one job that has fantasized me since childhood. Later in my life when I realised, other tertiary advantages of the job, like casting couch, that further added to the charm. Lately I've felt that had I been born around Manchester or in Brazil I would have been a professional footballer. People who have seen me play will find this really funny, but the fact of matter is that I really enjoy it. I started very late, when I was already 22 or something. I feel that in the limited time that I have spent on football field, I've learned alot. I'm at the right places in the ground at the right time, I've developed decent ball skills, I can run fast with the ball. The most important thing is that I really enjoy playing. But who doesnt? Every other person would like to be a movie director/footballer/fly jet planes.

I don't think I've met anybody in my life so far who genuinely loves his job. May be Anjum Rajabali, the scriptwriter I met did, but he took his time and did lot of ping pong thing in his career to finally get on to scripting. I thought
KD really did, reading his blog I realised that he is also searching. The suggestion made by Paul that early in life you should choose a job that enables to do a lot of things, makes a lot of sense. I felt really happy for my current choice after reading the article. In a startup company there's lot be done and you can choose what would you like to do. Had I continued with my job or gone for MBA that would have been really sad. Hurrrah.. I made a right choice, and I'm not doing bad compared to people I've known :). Articles by this guy has always this elating effect on me. He kind of validates my attitude toward life, which I myself would never be able to do.
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