Another important bit of advice I’ve come up with to tell my children is: Find something that you really like doing for a living, because you’re going to be doing it for a long time. There’s no sense in putting a lot of effort and education towards doing something that makes you miserable. Every job has something about it that you find enjoyable, and every job has some part that you don’t like doing. You want to find a career where the good in the job out weighs the bad. The more you enjoy your job the better off you’ll be. You’ll have less stress, you’ll be more satisfied with your life, you’ll be happier, healthier. And the money isn’t that important.
Yes you will need enough to live off, enough to keep a roof over your head, food on your table, clothes on your back, all the necessities of life. If you have money beyond that, well that’s great. If you don’t have money beyond that, but you love what you are doing, you won’t mind. But if you have a lot of money but hate every minute, you’ll just be miserable.
I know whereof I speak on this one. I’ve had jobs I loathed and hated, and I’ve been in situations where it was going to be a while before I could change that. It’s not a good place to be. And I’ve had jobs I enjoyed the heck out of. Still a lot of work, but those jobs gave me energy rather than sapping what little I had. The jobs I loved made me a lot easier to be around.
You can listen to this advice or learn it the hard way.
Another bit of advice I like, that I haven’t been able to track to it’s source, it was taken up by a bunch of motivational speakers, and gets attribute to them, but it’s been around longer than motivational speakers. It’s this: The chief cause of failure and unhappiness is trading what you want most for what you want at the moment.
It is painfully true. If what you want most is to be a writer, you have to write. Letting yourself use the excuse that you’re too tired from the day job to write, or that it’s difficult to write with a tablet on the bus, will not get you where you want to be. Right now I’m tired and cranky, and I’d rather surf the web or read a book rather than write. But that would be trading what I want most (to be a writer) for what I want at this moment (to rest and relax).
I’m trying to get better at it. I’m trying.