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The Path to Happiness: Do What You Love, Not What You Like

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https://www.scotthyoung.com/blog/2018/11/28/happiness-love-not-like/

scotthyoung.com

The Path to Happiness: Do What You Love, Not What You Like
I spend a lot of time thinking about optimizing my life. Sometimes that's towards optimizing to achieve some other goal-strengthen my business, get in better shape or have better relationships. However, the ultimate goal is to be happy and fulfilled, so why not optimize for that more directly?

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Optimizing for happiness

A route to greater happiness, for both day-to-day enjoyment and long-term fulfillment with who you are and where you are in life means: doing more of the things you love and cutt...

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Doing what you love is largely a choice

And it's almost completely under your control. You can't fully avoid the things you have to do. But you can make adjustments to the things you slightly like or reduce guilt from the things you feel...

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To do what you love, you have to have:

  • Courage: the shoulds and socially-acceptable activities you merely like, often are the default, and doing what you love automatically makes you a little weird.
  • Discipli...

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Happiness can’t be a goal in itself. Therefore, it’s not something that’s achievable.

The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” - Ralph Waldo Emerso...

The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Happiness is merely a byproduct of usefulness. You don’t have to change the world or anything. Just make it a little bit better than you were born. When you do little useful things every day, it adds ...

Happiness is merely a byproduct of usefulness. You don’t have to change the world or anything. Just make it a little bit better than you were born. When you do little useful things every day, it adds up to a life that is well lived. A life that mattered.

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Doing what you love is complicated

As kids, playing was described as fun while work was pretty much defined as not-fun. In school, it was implied that work was monotonous because it was in preparation for grownup work. Grownups a...

Bounds

Keep in mind this question: How much are you supposed to enjoy what you do? If you underestimate your answer, you'll tend to stop searching too early.

Liking your work does not mean doing what makes you happiest in this second, but what will make you most satisfied over a more extended period, like a week or a month. Your work should be your favorite thing to do. It should be something you admire.

What you should not do

  • Don't worry about the opinion of anyone beyond your friends.
  • Don't worry about prestige. Prestige is the opinion of the rest of the world. If you do anything well enough, you'll make it prestigious.
  • Don't be led astray by money, especially when money is combined with prestige.

A test of whether you love what you do is if you would do it even if you weren't paid for it. (Even if you had to work at another job to make a living.)

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Responding To Urgency

Stay-in-love couples are authentic, open, and self-reliant, but they also urgently need one another at times. They trust each other won’t take advantage of their availability but know&n...

Dealing Constructively With Control

Stay-in-love partners know that the need to feel in control at times is natural and that it offers an opportunity for learning and helping each other. Partners have confidence in their own autonomy to not react defensively or take it personally. 

Parenting Each Other

As relationships mature, many begin to feel less willing to give that kind of unconditional nurturing, and might not be as available. 

Stay-in-love couples understand the importance of not letting those special “sweet spots” die. They know that their partner sometimes needs to feel that guaranteed comfort and safety, and are more than willing to act as the good parent when asked. 

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