Do What Makes You Happy – Too Simple, Right?
I recently spent seven days in Mexico for a wedding. I was part of the wedding party but didn’t have a ton of responsibility. As such, I was left to sip cervezas in the shade whilst contemplating the complications of this roller coaster ride we call life.
Which looked like:
- Running up crumbling Mayan ruins like a pale Mexican Rocky Balboa
- Driving around (and getting lost) in a Mexican ghetto town
- Attempting communication with the owner of a roadside taco shop
Oh, The Stories We Tell
It wasn’t until I was seeking a respite from talented karaoke enthusiasts back in the resort late in the trip when a wise friend of mine started asking about my job.
“Business is good, I’m busy,” I repeated myself in ironic fashion.
“Sure, but what are you actually doing?”
I found I wasn’t interested in talking about work. Maybe it was the sunburn, maybe it was the fact I hadn’t stopped thinking about work and writing since I arrived in Peurto Morelos, but I didn’t want to talk about it.
All I wanted to talk about were the stories I imagined as I stood at the top of the Mayan pyramid, god-like, watching the heads of my sacrifices bouncing down the steep stone steps.
What Makes You Happy?
The wise man, being wise, dug deeper into my fascination with storytelling. I concocted an elaborate tale on the spot of a Mayan god acting under the guidance of evil demons bent on conquering the universe. The wise man simply smiled at me and said, “I think you need to write more.”
“Do what makes you happy and the rest will sort itself out.”
The problem with doing what makes you happy is that it can be tough to get paid. We need to work, right?
“Sure,” said the wise man. “But how much do we need to work?”
The crux of the argument is people believe we’ll eventually be paid for that which makes us happy. As a bonus, if we do what we love, we’ll invest in it emotionally and get really damned good at it in the process.
Ever wonder what would happen if no one needed to work any more? Check out this fascinating episode of The Truth Podcast, The Last Job.
Follow Your Obsession
For me, writing is more than a job, more than a passion – it’s an obsession. It’s the little noise a mosquito makes in your ear late at night or the sand in your shorts after a crispy day spent on the beach in Mexico. It’s always there, a passenger poking you every time you see a spelling mistake or you disagree with the development of a character.
I can’t turn my brain off when it comes to writing and crafting stories.
So I’m going to stop trying.