Do More of What You Hate

How to reverse engineer your life by getting pissed off

Photo credit: Jack B.

I’m a firm believer in dedicating your life to the things you love. I’ve written about it before, and fortunately, I’m able to do something I enjoy for a living.

At the same time, I completely understand that not everybody is lucky enough to love what they do. For many, work is simply a means to an end. It allows them to provide for their family, pursue personal interests, and take a holiday each year. If that’s you, that’s great! You can also probably close this tab now. But please don’t, because I’m clearly writing to boost my fragile ego. So please, continue reading.

There’s also a third camp of people, who want to a job that they’re excited to wake up for every morning, but just don’t know what that job is. In my opinion, the vast majority of us fall into this group. And I truly believe we’re all able to make a living doing something that we’re passionate about.

So if you want more out of your job, and you aren’t willing to settle for a life that doesn’t excite you, listen up.

For years, I paid my bills by working in warehouses, kitchens, and ad agencies. While those jobs had positive aspects and I learned a ton from every one of them, the biggest lesson I learned was that they weren’t right for me. I was unsatisfied and pissed off. I hated what I was doing.

And that is the secret to building a life you love.

To find a job you love, start by doing more of what you hate

I know it sounds counterintuitive. But it’s true. Spending my time scrubbing burnt pots and pans, working overnights in a frigid warehouse, and flogging products I genuinely didn’t believe in gave me plenty of time to figure out both what I didn’t want to do and what I did want to do.

I’ve always treated my career as a big game of Guess Who. One by one, I knock down the tiles with uninspiring goals, morally-questionable tactics, and useless, bullshit tasks. That’s helped me understand what I’m good at and what I enjoy, and find a way to spend my time doing those things.


It’s easier to sit on the fence with a job that I neither love nor hate, but to me, that’s the most dangerous option. Getting mad at myself for working on things I hated pushed me to figure out what I wanted to do, and kept me hungry to find a better way to spend my time.

So get pissed off. Fill your belly with fire and let your blood boil. Be passionate about what you’re doing, even if you’re passionate about how much you don’t want to be there. Figure out what you absolutely hate, and do it. Do it until you figure out what you truly love, then use that passion to chase your dreams with everything you’ve got.