“What do you desire? What makes you itch? What sort of a situation would you like? Lets suppose – I often do this in vocational guidence with students. They come to me and say well, we’re getting out of college and we haven’t the faintest idea what we want to do. So I always ask the question: What would you like to do if money were no object? How would you really enjoy spending your life? And they say “Well, we’d like to be painters, we’d like to be poets, we’d like to be writers, But as everybody knows you can’t earn any money that way!” Let’s go through with it. What do you want?
When we finally got down to something which the individual says he really wants to do, I will say to him “You do that – And, forget the money.” Because, if you say that getting the money is the most important thing, you will spend your life completely wasting your time. You’ll 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 is stupid! Better to have a short life that is full of what you like doing then a long life spent in a miserable way. And after all, if you do really like what you are doing – it doesn’t really matter what it is – you can eventually become a master of it. The only way of becoming the master of something is to be really with it. And then you will be able to get a good fee for whatever it is. And anything you can be interested in, you’ll find others.
But it’s absolutely stupid, to spend your time doing things you don’t like, in order to go on spending things you don’t like and doing things you don’t like. Therefore it’s so important to consider this question:
What do I desire?”
- Alan Watts