How many people are stuck in a job that they hate? Why is it so?
The answer to the first question is “too many.” The answer to the second question is a bit longer:
When we grow up, we don’t want to become a lawyer or a doctor or an accountant. We want to do something else. Usually, we find this interest during the school years, but it can also come later.
But one thing’s certain: we all have that something of what we are really passionate about. The thing you can work on until you fall asleep, then dream about it, wake up and continue where you left off. If you think that you don’t have anything like that, then think again. Do some deep introspection, and I’m sure you’ll find it. What is it?
The schools kill curiosity. They kill creativity. No, really, they do. Schools don’t teach us to find out our path and purpose. They teach us to keep our voice down, follow the rules, study the facts, do as told, not to stand out, not to ask too many questions, fit in and go to university and get a “good” job. We’re molded to be similar. We lose our uniqueness.
Why is it that we have so few artists, painters, composers and pianists, and so many office workers? Is it really because the majority of people want to work in an office? Really? I don’t believe that.
And it’s not only schools. It’s our parent’s and social conditioning in general. For a kid, it’s hard to go against all that pressure. So we suppress our true calling (or we forget about finding it) and do as we’re told.
Of course, our parents have our best intentions in mind. A good office job offers security and stability. However, it kills life in us.
This is where the whole “thank god it’s Friday” mentality comes from. This is an excellent litmus test. If you’re constantly checking the clock and waiting for Friday, you are not on your path and purpose.
You need to have a reason to get up from bed in the morning. You get up not because you have to but because you can’t wait to get back at your work. Another question to ask yourself: “Why do I get up in the morning?” If the answer is “because I have to,” you know it’s not a good answer.
If you do what really interests you, you can do it nonstop — time flies. E.g., when I read the Elon Musk biography, I found out that he worked just like that. Bunch of nerds in an office working nonstop without showering until they fell asleep - then woke up and continued where they left off while taking a bite out of a leftover pizza for breakfast. Bill gates did the same when he wrote Basic. They are not the exception: when it comes to masters of any given field, it’s the rule. The masters are masters because they work ferociously.
This kind of dedication is only possible if you do what you’re really passionate about. If you do the work you want to do. You put in so many hours and become a master in that field.
If you do the work that you don’t care about, you’ll always be mediocre at it. You will never achieve mastery as you’re not willing to put in the thousands upon thousands of hours.
This is the answer to the main question raised in the title: so that you can achieve mastery.
And the thing is, if you’re a master of a field, you can definitely find a way to monetize your calling so that you wouldn’t have to starve to death. Pursuing your passion and making a great living from it does not need to be mutually exclusive.
In fact, there are so many examples of people doing what they love and making huge amounts of money along the way. This is the goal! If one man can do something, so can the other.
And there’s no need to ditch the day job. It’s possible to pursue your passion after work until you can make the switch. A low demanding job would be beneficial in that case. So you would have time to build your dream and not spend all your life helping to build someone else’s dream.
We all have the ability to become a master. Let’s pursue mastery!