Love What You Do

I started listening to the Founders podcast recently, and, in it, the host David Senra regularly and enthusiastically highlights Charlie Munger's aphorism: "In the world of business, the people who are most successful are those who are doing what they love." Angel investor Naval Ravikant echoes this same idea:
"The way to get out of the competition trap is to be authentic, to find the thing you know how to do better than anybody. You know how to do it better because you love it (emphasis mine), and no one can compete with you."

Thinking about this idea, I realized there was a social benefit, too: when you love your work, you develop a reputation as someone who is engaged and passionate. Not only do you create your best work, but you become known as that person, which opens up even more opportunities. Further still, it creates a feedback loop where our social image comes back around and reinforces our self image, whether positively or negatively.

While talking with my friend Dan, he told me of the time he worked as a telemarketer:
After a month, I realized I was having suicide ideation, because when you're a telemarketer, every 20 seconds, for 8 hours a day, somebody tells you you're a miserable piece of shit. And, if you're not a sociopath, that builds up on you. So I stood up in the middle of my shift and yelled to the manager, "Hey, Jimmy, I don't think I can do this anymore." And he was like, "Ok! Come to pick up your check on Friday", because this happened all the time.

With humans as creatures of habit and pattern-seekers, I can't help but believe that changing these narratives (social and internal) becomes more difficult as time passes. The environment and the reactions, sent and received, calcify our reputation and self-perception.

Feedback is always happening, and that feedback is shaping who we are. Be mindful of where you're choosing to be and how you're living in that space.