Paul Graham - How to Do What You Love - Summary

Click to see the full essay. This is my summary, quoting and paraphrasing the content.

To do something well you have to like it.

Do what you love doesn’t mean, do what you would like to do most this second, but what will make you happiest over some longer period, like a week or a month.

Unproductive pleasures pall eventually. If you want to stay happy, you have to do something.

You have to like your work more than any unproductive pleasure.

You have to be doing something you not only enjoy, but admire.

If you do anything well enough, you’ll make it prestigious.

The test of whether people love what they do is whether they’d do it even if they weren’t paid for it – even if they had to work at another job to make a living.

All parents tend to be more conservative for their kids than they would for themselves, simply because, as parents, they share risks more than rewards.

Try to do a good job at whatever you’re doing, even if you don’t like it. You’ll get into the habit of doing things well.

Always produce.

Most unpleasant jobs would either get automated or go undone if no one were willing to do them.

One has to make a living, and it’s hard to get paid for doing work you love. There are two routes to that destination:

You should prevent your beliefs about how things are from being contaminated by how you wish they were.