Don’t Do What You Love, Do What You Like

The first thing to understand about passion is that not every passion translates into a happy career or into a good sustainable business.

It’s important to realize that often times, careers and hobbies are meant to be distinct from each other, not intertwined with one another.

For example, I love to read and talk about books. It’s one of my favorite things to do.

But I have to ask myself: Do I really want to listen to the people who say that you should just “Do what you love”?

If I choose to listen to that advice and combine my love for reading with my career, then my love for reading could easily become an obligation instead of a fun hobby that I love to do when I’m relaxing.

Choosing to make my career the same thing as what I love to do could make reading feel like a job more so than a passion, which is counterproductive to creating a life that you enjoy.

This is why I recommend that people shouldn’t do what they love, but instead should do what they like.

Mark Cuban said something similar to this. He says,

“Don’t do what you love. Do what you’re interested in.”

This is how Mark Cuban became a happy billionaire. Mark Cuban became successful through working in tech, but Cuban didn’t love tech when he first started out. He was, however, interested in it and he was good enough at it that he eventually became a billionaire doing it.

In the book “The $100 Startup,” Chris Guillebeau, who is an entrepreneur and author, says the same thing.

He says,

“There’s an important point you have to consider: You may just not want to combine your hobby with your work. If the hobby or passion serves as an important stress reliever from your day job or other commitments, are you sure you want to assume full-time responsibility for your hobby? Some people find that it’s better to keep their passion separate from their work.”

I would agree.

This is going to be an important question that you’re going to have to ask yourself at one point in your life, which is, if you love to do something, are you sure that you want to do that thing full time as a job?


10 thoughts on “Don’t Do What You Love, Do What You Like

  1. Great post.. I believe that variety is the spice of life. We should do many things in our lives and they should all be different as they require different talents and skills …. then we become allrounders. I love my choosen line of career and my volunteer work is different and blogging goes on

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s a really good post Vincent. I don’t think a lot of people think about it, but adding on the stresses and responsibilities of a full-time job on to a hobby makes it not, well, a hobby at all. They’re meant to be mediums to express ourselves, activities that give us pleasure and help us unwind and relax. Asking yourself if you want to combine the two is an important question indeed

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree Jake, our hobbies and what we love to do are meant to be activities that help us be creative and relax. When it comes to career though, we should all strive for what we’re good at and what we’re interested in.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for this. I just had an epiphany – literally – while I was reading this. I have been struggling with how to monetize my passion for writing but then I also didn’t want it to turn into something that was more a chore than a love. Now I know where to go… I know what I’m interested in – and through that – I will make a career that allows me more freedom to do my writing. Thanks!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. i completely agree. when we turn our most beloved interests into a job, they loose their…well, interest. it gives us no pleasure anymore, it’s just another way to get money. we stop being creative, we stop taking risks.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Exactly:) If your job is to paint the same painting over and over again, then you’re not an artist, you’re a painter because it’s paint by numbers. You’re not an artist because you’re not trying to push your boundaries creatively, you’re just doing the next task that you have to do.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Quite a practical post.
    Well, I might contradict a little bit here. In fact if you have had already an eye on my blog’s tagline, you would say I am not at all going to be in favor of the content of this post. 😀
    Pursuing passion as your career can be an option too. Say, you want to become a singer. You listen to music in your leisure; it relaxes your mind. But when you will turn it into your career, you will have to look at it with more of technical eyes and mind. Of course it might become tedious sometimes, but what else could be great than being surrounded by the atmosphere and learning more and more about what you love, 24*7?
    Though singing same song again and again can be boring but that won’t be the case most of the times, I guess. Neither in case of a writer or a dancer or other professions which I am not much aware of.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I don’t agree completely. When you make a career out of your passion and if you love it enough, it doesn’t feel as stressful and as tiresome as something that only pays your bills. I work a lot, but writing is my passion and when I come home I write late into the night. And I don’t feel exhausted, I feel rejuvenated.

    Liked by 1 person

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