Do What You Love

via Bruce Eckel via a slashdot thread on programming:

In 1960, a researcher interviewed 1500 business-school students and classified them in two categories: those who were in it for the money – 1245 of them – and those who were going to use the degree to do something they cared deeply about – the other 255 people. Twenty years later, the researcher checked on the graduates and found that 101 of them were millionaires – and all but one of those millionaires came from the 255 people who had pursued what they loved to do!

Now, you may think that your passion for Icelandic poetry of the baroque period, or butterfly collecting, or golf – or social justice – might consign you to a permanent separation between what you love and what you do for a living, but it isn’t necessarily so. Vladimir Nabokov, one of the greatest novelists of this centurey, was far more passionate about butterfly collecting than writing. His first college teaching job, in fact, was in lepidoptery. REsearch on more than 400,000 Americans over the past 40 years indicates that pursuing your passions – even in small doses, here and there each day – helps you make the most of your current capabilities and encourages you to develop new ones.

(From The other 90% by Robert K. Cooper, Three Rivers Press 2001.)

Arguably this just shows that passionate loving people are more likely to get things done in general. However it neglects the cost money-making people pay for not doing what they love. If you do a job you hate, how much does that cost you in terms of things you love. If you quit and did what you love, you might be wealthier (and you would not pay taxes on that income!).


3 Responses to Do What You Love

  1. nicholas says:

    only 101 out of 1500 biz school grads were millionaires after 20 years?


    of course, those are 1980 dollars…back when a millionaire was a millionaire…

  2. alex says:

    In fairness those 20 years included the 1960’s and 1970’s. Not exactly the best economic years the US ever had.

  3. comment from Sexless in the City’s Anna Broadway

    … on keeping yourself challenged, see this.

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