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Why You Shouldn't Do Things You Don't Like

Why It's "Absolutely Stupid" to Waste Time Doing Things You Don't Like

If money wasn't an object, how would you really enjoy spending your life? Without thinking about all the details and the logistics, but instead thinking only of what truly makes you happy — would you be doing the same thing you're doing right now? Alan Watts, a British speaker, philosopher, and writer, captured in words what's easy to forget or ignore in practice: happiness matters. Watch this beautiful recording, where he makes these poignant points about why it's important to do what you love.

1. Stop thinking about money first.

Watts says that "if you say that getting the money is the most important thing, you will spend your life completely wasting your time. You will be doing things you don't like doing in order to go on living, that is, to go on doing things you don't like doing." Which, as he accurately points out, is stupid.

2. Quality of life is more important than anything else.

"Better to have a short life that is full of what you like doing," Watts says, "than a long life spent in a miserable way."

3. If you love something, you will be good at.

Regardless of how nice it would be to do what we want all day, every day, we do have to make a living. Watts addresses this fact by saying that "if you do really like what you're doing . . . you can become a master of it." If you completely master a talent, one can theoretically benefit monetarily and/or find a way to make ends meet comfortably while finding a balance between doing what they love and what needs to be done.

4. We are creating a culture of people who aren't pursuing their passions — and we need to change it.

"It's absolutely stupid to spend time doing things you don't like," Watts says emphatically. We, in turn, teach our children the same thing, thus perpetuating a cycle with misplaced emphasis on the importance of money and work rather than what makes us happy. "We are bringing up children and educating them to live the same sort of lives we're living . . . to bring up their children to do the same thing. It's all retch and no vomit — it never gets there," he says.

5. Find what you love, and do it.

Watts thinks people should ask themselves one question: What do I desire? Once you know the answer to that question, the rest will follow.

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