Friday, May 31, 2019

"If you do what you like, you'll like what you do"

Of all the adages I've heard, none more summarily captures the start and finish of life's adventure than the saying, "If you do what you like, you'll like what you do".  What could be more instructive? It is no objection that doing so is a selfish preoccupation; or that its feasibility is often impossible. The aphorism is not a fast food menu or an account of daily life (which obviously is destined to have its measure of ups and downs) rather a lantern of guidance upon which to keep one's focus. As axiomatic as the ambition may be we nonetheless routinely permit ourselves to be diverted from the underlying intention. Nor is it difficult to understand the source of corruption - gripping models of behaviour like charity, familial duty, societal pressure and obligation in a myriad of other extrapolations (which by the way has the poisonous trait of assuming that existing trends will continue or that a current method will remain applicable). Nothing is certain about life, least of all what you will or will not like tomorrow. As a point of logic, one's outcome is thus more assured by deciding and doing today what you like.

Aside from the apparent juxtaposition of this theory with altruism, that narrow and misleading interpretation fails to recognize that Florence Nightingale may in fact have wanted to do what she did. It is not my personal preference to be surrounded by ailing carcasses; however, the point is that doing what one likes doesn't necessarily entail conflict with service to others. By the same reasoning it matters not that public-spiritedness is perhaps promoted by politic aspiration. In either case what counts is the performance of what one likes - for whatever reason. This potentially selfish appetite is to be distinguished from behaviour which is designed to overcome what might be considered purely more sensible. It defeats the purpose of the adage to stain it with the gloss of external imperatives; doing what one likes is entirely individual and private. To really look in one must look out far beyond. Remember, this is your life we're talking about, not some Kindergarten crayon creation. And there's only one of you, so make the most of it!

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