“Do What You Love”

“Do what you love.” A common saying with such an elusive understanding. Within my seventeen years of age I have heard this common phrase too many times. “Do what you love.” What a stupid saying. Isn’t that just common sense? Why wouldn’t you do something that you love? Each and every time the saying bounced right off my prideful mind. I never even stopped to give it a second of thought. Thankfully that didn’t last too long. All it took for that closed-mindedness to change was a traffic jam in the middle of beautiful San Fransisco on a sunny morning the summer before high school.

San Fransisco as seen from Alcatraz

I opened my mind to what I believed to be a worthless phrase, but its outcome was unimaginable. I realized that I was not in the most favorable situation, but I still loved what I was doing. I was smiling and laughing with those I love, jamming out to Sia’s “Chandelier,” trying new things everywhere I went, and I was as happy as can be. I don’t know what caused the saying to come to my mind, but there it was. “Do what you love.” As far as I could remember it had always been used in a business context. The internet is filled with “business experts” claiming the key to a successful life is to have a job where you are doing what you love. At this moment it hit me with such conviction. I was going to expand the phrase to much more than business, my life. I was done doing activities that didn’t make me happy. I was done doing what other people wanted me to do and not doing what I wanted to do. I was going to go out at do new things. I was going to discover what I truly love to do. I was going to change my life right there and then.

That moment changed my life for the next three years, and hopefully will continue to do so for the rest of my life. I had been caught up in always doing what would make other people happy that I forgot to do what made me happy. One of the greatest lessons that came from this experience is to sit back and have a moment of self-reflection every once in a while. You never know, you may end up loving it like I did. Sit back and ask yourself if you are really doing “what you love.”

I examined my life to gain a deeper understanding of what I really loved. I realized that I love Stanford so I was going to do things that would help me achieve my goal of going to college there. I realized I love learning so I decided to start reading again and take fun courses online. I realized that I didn’t love baseball and that the idea of going to baseball practice was making me unhappy so I stopped playing baseball. I realized that I loved my family more than anything so I was going to make a better attempt at growing closer to them. I realized that I love trying new things and being adventurous. I realized that I love to run so I started running. These may be things that you don’t give a crap about, but they are just examples of the many ways in which I have changed my life because of this simple saying. They made me into a better brother, friend, and neighbor. I am not an expert on life and I don’t believe anyone is, but I know that there are others that could possibly be in this situation and I wish someone had shared this with me what I was younger.

A short tour through Stanford was all that I needed to know I love Stanford

“Do what you love.” It’s much easier said than done. It takes guts to make changes to one’s life, and those changes may be regretted; without taking risks one can never know what could have been. I took a leap of faith, scratch that, I took a running start off of a cliff and it has made all the difference. These changes may sound easy or unimportant to you, but to me they weren’t easy and I did them anyways. Your changes may be easy and they made be hard, but you can never know the outcome of making those changes without just doing it. My changes made me a happier person. I am now doing what I love, and it has changed my life. Don’t let anyone control your happiness besides yourself. “Do what you love.”

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