There are two very different way to decide what you want to do for a living.
The first is to find something that you love to do, like painting pictures, teaching children or playing a musical instrument, and then figure out a way to make enough money to survive by doing that thing.
The second way is to choose something that has the potential to bring in loads of money such as being a doctor, lawyer or accountant so that you will be in a position to spend your non-working hours doing whatever it is you love to do. Both options have their pros and cons.
The greatest potential benefit of choosing the first option is pretty obvious – you can do what you love to do pretty much every day for as long as you want to do it.
Also, if you are passionate about your work you stand a better chance of being really good at it and making a fortune.
The danger, however, is that if you have to do something all the time in order to pay the bills, even if it’s something you enjoy, it will probably become hard work… too much of a good thing and all that… and even if you are quite good at it you may not make a whole lot of money.
Interestingly, there is another problem that often crops up when people have a passion for their jobs and excel at it; they get promoted to a management position.
This is what often happens to our best teachers.
Instead of using their skills to help children in the classroom they wind up administering other teachers.
Even self employed people like carpenters and builders often find themselves behind a desk organising jobs instead of doing the work they love.
Another possible problem if you choose to make money from your favourite pastime is that you would then have to find something else to look forward to when you are taking time off from work, but that could also be seen as a benefit if you have a reasonable amount of imagination.
I’m not sure what is the best thing about taking the second option but there definitely are benefits to going for a proven money-earner.
If you are good at your profession, you will make money; you will be a respected member of society and if you want to you will be able to retire early.
The great danger, however, is that if you pursue something for the money and the glory of financial success, you stand a pretty good change of getting addicted to those things and never taking time off to pursue the pastimes you really love.
You may also attract friends and potential mates who are more interested in your money and your status than they are in you.
Hum… that’s getting a bit heavier than I intended, but maybe that’s what happens when you are passionate about your work and you don’t have to do it every day.
But please don’t get me wrong here; I’m not trying to say one approach is better for everyone than the other.
Both have their strong points and their dangers.
What I am saying is that it would be a good idea to identify which approach you have taken or would like to take so you will have the best chance of living the life you actually want.