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How do you know when you enjoy something - April 29th 2012, 06:45 AM

Regarding careers and such, which is basically supposed to be doing something every day that you enjoy doing, how do you know when you're enjoying it?

I don't know if I don't enjoy doing anything simply because I know someone else has done this a million times before, and much better.

Or perhaps it's simply because I really don't enjoy doing anything, who knows.

What are signs that you enjoy what you do? Let's try to avoid the 'because it makes me happy' thing, unless you can back up how it makes you happy specifically (i.e. a sense of purpose,mastery, blah blah)
   
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Re: How do you know when you enjoy something - April 29th 2012, 01:57 PM

The only real way I know if I'm enjoying something is if I'm dedicated to it. The simple thing is, if I don't enjoy it, I pretty much ride the backbone of what I've been taught and run with it. I don't actually try to do anything more than the bare minimum. In other things, though, I'll just slave my way through it because it does keep me interested.

To take some dry law subjects as an example (not many will know what it's like, but it's a good feeling), in Contracts, I spent at least 30 hours studying a week for it. It was a challenge, but it wasn't so challenging that you really want to just curl in a ball. In Torts, I've spent probably 10-15 hours studying a week for it. It's too easy. Which one did I enjoy more?

As for reasons why I enjoy something more than the other, I tend to evaluate it as, if it's hard enough, and I do well, I have a huge sense of accomplishment. If I don't do well, it doesn't really matter 'cause it's a hard subject. If I do well in an easy subject, without spending much time, then that's cool, I don't really get any satisfaction out of the accomplishment (I don't actually do badly in an easy subject; at least, I never have). Basically: if hard, then there's no bad consequences in trying hard; if easy, the only bad consequence in trying hard is that I waste my time.

Sense of accomplishment is why, and the dedication level is how.

As for career, it's kind of different. I don't have much that keeps me motivated to work in a retail store. I know that I'm enjoying it if I only have 5 cigarettes in 8 hours rather than 10 cigarettes in the same period. Meh.
   
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Re: How do you know when you enjoy something - April 30th 2012, 02:23 AM

I know you don't like it when I respond with answers that you don't want to hear... but being a marriage and family therapist trainee DOES make me happy! =) When I look back on the work I've done so far, I feel a sense of accomplishment - I feel like I'm making a difference in clients' lives, and that makes me happy. I also feel I'm growing on a personal level (learning things that I can apply to my own relationships and to future work with clients), so that makes me happy as well.

When I think about what I want in a job, I want it to be a different experience every day - a certain degree of predictability (when I'm going to be in the office), but then having that element of surprise, because I never know what the clients will want to talk about on a given day. I can also see myself doing this for the rest of my life (as a licensed professional, of course). I've had jobs where that wasn't the case, and eventually, without fail, the initial excitement of the job wore off, and I started looking for better opportunities. Not everyone gets that feeling right off the bat, though - some people need to spend a few months in the field, learning all about the job they have, before they can decide whether or not it's something they'd truly enjoy doing for the rest of their lives.

Overall signs? I feel good about my life as it is right now, and where I'm going in the future. If you don't feel that with a job, try exploring other areas within your job (ex. maybe being a "grunt" doesn't work for you, but being in a management-type position does). If there's no where to go in that field, try something else. If you don't find ANY enjoyment in work, then I hope you can at least find enjoyment in hobbies or in some other area of your life. Unfortunately, some people NEVER enjoy their work, for any number of reasons.





   
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Re: How do you know when you enjoy something - April 30th 2012, 08:12 AM

Well the only issue here is telling me you're happy with what you do doesn't help me gather what i'm missing. So far what I can conclude is I don't enjoy doing anything because of the way I view life, but I also refuse to change my view on life because I can't stand people who only see one side of things in life, or choose to just not care about it.

I suppose in the ends it's how our minds work, and what job we do does not matter in the slightest. That's been proven because i've been able to be above average at everything i've done if I put effort into it. So reality is we all can become advanced at anything, it's just what we believe to be our sense of purpose blah blah, etc etc.

So the question I should've asked is how do I get into this (what I consider naiive, or lack of caring) mindset. Now granted, I don't mean naiive in a negative way, it's just people are choosing to be positive and such without any reason. I've always been neutral or negative (if you're neutral, you're naturally a negative person because there's a lot more negative things in life than positive) so how can you enjoy the 'little things' in life when they are, what I consider, a joke in the grand scheme of things.

Perhaps it's just the kind of person I am. I'm never impressed with anything, i'm never excited about something, i'm never sad about something, i'm never anything about anything really. I just exist and collect experiences from everyone else because I don't experience things like normal people.
   
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Re: How do you know when you enjoy something - April 30th 2012, 08:55 AM

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Originally Posted by Dervisher View Post
(if you're neutral, you're naturally a negative person because there's a lot more negative things in life than positive)

Perhaps it's just the kind of person I am. I'm never impressed with anything, i'm never excited about something, i'm never sad about something, i'm never anything about anything really. I just exist and collect experiences from everyone else because I don't experience things like normal people.
Mm, you brought a subjective opinion into an objective statement. That doesn't really work, at all. It's subjective that you think there are more negative things in the world than positive; it's not entirely objective. But I digress.

I can't really guide you into how to enjoy something. You need drive, not interest. Interest does not necessarily mean enjoyment; and drive just seems to result on motivation. Interest, well, isn't motivation. Drive, purely by its definition, is. The question you should therefore ask yourself is not what peaks your interest, but what gets you motivated. If you were truely apathetic about life, you really wouldn't care to ask. The mere implication of you asking this question begs the assessment: what got you motivated to pose it? If it's a feeling of a lack of self worth, and you want to avoid it, that's sufficient motivation. You just need to build that so it flips it around: instead of avoiding a lack of worth, try to steer yourself in a direction that gives you self-worth.

That seems to be a building block of a positive mindset.
   
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Re: How do you know when you enjoy something - April 30th 2012, 12:11 PM

I don't believe in self-worth or any of that. I simply think it's a silly thing to feel accomplished for doing something so trivial.

The question would be then what would get someone like me motivated. I've never had the motivation to push my interest, so where would I begin? What do I have to do to feel motivated to do things?
   
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Re: How do you know when you enjoy something - April 30th 2012, 02:14 PM

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I don't believe in self-worth or any of that. I simply think it's a silly thing to feel accomplished for doing something so trivial.

The question would be then what would get someone like me motivated. I've never had the motivation to push my interest, so where would I begin? What do I have to do to feel motivated to do things?
Mmm.
Good question.

I suppose there's a bunch of things. You don't believe in accomplishment for something trivial? What about some huge life step? I mean, sure, it's okay to feel apathetic about how the world turns, or whether the world is round, but these are big things to discover and the discovery will stand the test of time. What do you want people to remember you for? Isn't it an accomplishment just being remembered for something?

I want to be remembered for a contribution to society. Anything, really. It doesn't bother me, so long as it doesn't come across as me being a douchebag. I wouldn't mind being remembered as a great politician or a great influence to legal contributions. A High Court judge? Yes!

But how do I get there? I have to do the trivial things. Yes, Law School seems trivial, but it has to be done to somehow influence my legacy. I want a legacy... I don't want to be one of 7 billion people whose only legacy is a gravestone in the middle of nowhere.

Little steps.

So, do you actually WANT to be remembered for something? Or do you not care?
Of course, I know you'll take the "does it matter? I won't know that I'm being remembered... Life is life, and you just have to get through it." What the hell is the point in having life when you just want to get through it? You've got 80 years to do SOMETHING. So, what? What will you do?
   
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Re: How do you know when you enjoy something - April 30th 2012, 06:17 PM

For me its when my head is at peace. Basically I know I am enjoying it when it feels natural to do it. And nothing else is comparable to that feeling.

Like for me and an old coworker of mine. I feel at peace when I play blackjack or roulette. And whatever else I do or try wont cut it. And for him at heart he is a writer and until he was able to quit his job and pursue it he was never at peace.

If you want me to elaborate anymore just ask.
   
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Re: How do you know when you enjoy something - April 30th 2012, 06:44 PM

Perhaps it'd help if I gave you an idea how high the accomplishments are that I consider trivial.

When I look at Steve Jobbs that is what I consider a fair level of accomplishment to feel proud about. Basically you could say it's having a goal of doing something literally nobody else has been able to do, or has done before. Steve Jobs basically forced the iPhone era down our throats, and did it extremely well.

Bill Gates, Dennis Ritchie, Einstein, and basically everyone else who literally changed very important events in human development/future.

That gives you an idea how high my expectations are for myself when in reality i'll be lucky to get a job at RIM coding shitty software for phones.
The result? A constant reminder of myself that I am not capable of achieving what I expect myself to achieve, thus no motivation. What's the point of trying when I already know the outcome?

You can try to say 'well you only get what you work for blah blah' but there is this thing called a 'lot in life'. You can work as hard as you want but some people just aren't meant for things, no matter how hard they try. A proof of this point is someone who's mentally handicapped. No matter what you say, they will almost never be capable of daily functions no matter how much training they get or how hard they try. There will be the exceptional few but that is not the majority of the cases.

This leads further down into the more complex to measure minds. We try to measure it via IQ but reality is there is a limit on the level of learning we can do. We can only learn so efficiently based on how our minds are, we can TRY to train ourselves to learn better and more efficiently but it is a time consuming task and in the end it will probably waste the time you needed to achieve anything in life.

So reality is i'm just at this point where I know i'm not capable of doing anything better than what I consider trivial, so therefore I don't have motivation to carry out my 'goals' because they are unreachable. No matter how much I work and how much I learn and how much I try, I will never be capable of doing what I want to do.

So in the end it's like a loop that never ends, I just keep going and going and i'll never reach the end. Aside from death, which I envy most people who die young. Maybe i'll be fortunate
   
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Re: How do you know when you enjoy something - April 30th 2012, 08:05 PM

So you see anything short of genius as "trivial"? If that's the case, you'll either need to adjust your expectations, or accept that you'll be dissatisfied for the rest of your life. That's a choice you'll have to make. If you want to change the way you view things, you can. If you don't want to try, fine, but then I don't understand why you would ask us for advice on how to view your situation differently (because isn't that changing?).

I'll admit, I'm often confused when I read your posts, because I don't understand what exactly you're trying to achieve from posting on TeenHelp. Are you really trying to change your situation for the better? Or are you trying to get people to say, "You're right, this is how things are"?

I'd love to be the next Steve Jobs... but I know I won't be. Even if I devoted every second of my life toward entrepreneurialship (if that's even a word), that doesn't mean I'd succeed. I might never catch that lucky break, or find those essential contacts through networking, or have the financial or technological means to create the product I have in mind. A lot of it is due to being extremely intelligent, hard-working, etc. but there's also a fair bit of luck behind every successful entrepreneur. Some people will "make it," but most won't... so what should those people do? Resign themselves to a life of mediocrity? Or recognize that life isn't mediocre just because it isn't "Steve Jobs" status? Life is still worth living even if you're working a more basic job, because there's far more to life than what you do for a living. Plenty of people HATE their jobs (or at least dislike their jobs), so they find enjoyment in other areas of their lives. To them, a job is simply a way to earn money, which allows them to buy things or pay for activities that will lead to enjoyment for them.

I mean, I don't know what else I, or anyone else, could say to give you some hope. I don't believe you're a failure if you don't become the next Steve Jobs. I only believe you're a failure if you give up, because there are ALWAYS more things you can try. You will NEVER be able to exhaust all your options - and how can you know that it's hopeless until you try everything there is to try?






Last edited by PSY; April 30th 2012 at 08:12 PM.
   
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Re: How do you know when you enjoy something - May 1st 2012, 02:25 AM

Well that's what I don't understand. What is the point of trying when it (at least to me) is so trivial? Why would I try things when I consider it pretty pointless.

Let's take my programming class for example. We can learn all the algorithms he can throw at us (which hardly any of us are learning ,really. Most of us copy&paste and twiddle around with the original code and pray it works for us) and in the end that algorithm is probbaly inefficient anyways because some other programmer found a much better way to do it.

I can write all the programs I want but the reality is someone else has already coded it, and much better, than I could ever do.

Basically how do I get more motivation to do things when I look at everything as pointless? How do I change my view on something like that? Obviously it's hindering a lot of innovative things I could have done, but am limited to not being able to do because of the fact I find it pointless. Every time I have an idea, I wait a couple of months and it's out as a new technology. And the reality is it would have taken me years to develop what they did, so I would have been behind in the advancement of technology either way.

It's hard to want to do something when people are constantly 'taking your ideas' basically. Imagine being an artist and you imagine this amazing piece of art and you start slowly drawing it, only to realize someone else drew almost the exact same thing you did.

I personally would throw the canvas and the idea out the window. Perhaps that's the difference between me and most people. If it isn't unique enough to me, I don't consider it valuable.
   
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Re: How do you know when you enjoy something - May 1st 2012, 03:00 AM

But is something really pointless if it's already been done before? Let's say someone invented an amazing algorithm, so now you can 1) use it, 2) try to come up with a better one, or 3) try something different altogether. Let's say you can't come up with a better one or figure out what else to do, so you're stuck with using what's already been invented. Well, what good is that algorithm if there's no one to use it, save for the one man or woman who created it? There need to be people in the world who use what has already been created. Steve Jobs can come up with the iPhone, but ultimately, he needs people to help him realize his dream. Furthermore, he needs millions of people around the world to purchase the iPhone; otherwise, there would be no point in developing even more products. If people didn't use the iPhone, then we wouldn't have a demand for the hundreds of thousands of applications that exist today. Apply this to any creative genius that comes to mind. Henry Ford needed people to build and purchase his vehicles. Leonardo da Vinci needed people to appreciate and preserve his artwork. The people who are famous today would not be so if it wasn't for people like you and me supporting them, or furthering their cause in some way.

Basically, just because you didn't invent something doesn't mean you're worthless, or that using it is pointless. Maybe it's too abstract in your programming class - it's just an assignment to you, and you're not going to create anything meaningful with a simple homework assignment. What you can do with that knowledge, however, is create something of meaning based off of what's already been created by other people. I'll use my future profession (therapy) as an example. There are many intelligent people out there who create theories and treatment methods for various mental illnesses; however, those people cannot treat everyone in the world who has a mental illness. So there need to be more people - many, MANY more people - who can use those theories and treatment methods. Are all those people doing something that is "trivial" because they didn't come up with the ideas themselves? No! They're still helping people, even if they are using something that another person created. Coming up with an original idea is wonderful, but what good is it if there aren't people who can use it for some great purpose?

Basically, what I'm trying to say is that you can shift your way of thinking to understand that your role isn't "trivial." You may never be Steve Jobs, but you can be one of the men who allows great things to happen based on what Steve Jobs created. Without people like you, the world would cease to function. I hope you can see that you have value, even if you never end up on the cover of Time Magazine. If you believe your work is meaningful, then that can give you a sense of enjoyment. Again, though, it all depends on how you choose to look at the situation.





   
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Re: How do you know when you enjoy something - May 1st 2012, 04:56 AM

So how do I change myself to think that way? It isn't a simple "oh hey I never thought of that before, time to think they way now" kind of thing. I already knew it existed and i've mulled over the solution for a long time, but how do I get myself to want to think like that?
   
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Re: How do you know when you enjoy something - May 1st 2012, 06:37 AM

Takes time, Derv. It also takes habit. It also takes an epiphany that being apathetic is pretty much pointless in itself.
   
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Re: How do you know when you enjoy something - May 1st 2012, 06:54 AM

Yeah I guess. I'm kind of short on time for breaking old habits though considering I'll likely have college in 2 years at the latest.

Idk maybe I have to be intentionally(even if i don't like it) over exuberant about everything until it becomes habit to think and act that way. It's pretty sad to think that I have to act it all the time until my mind naturally grows accustom to the idea of being happy but I guess that's what I have to do...
   
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Re: How do you know when you enjoy something - May 6th 2012, 10:32 PM

No one enjoys their subject or career 100% of the time. If they do they cannot be human.

I am extremely passionate about medicine and can't wait to graduate, know I will be a fantastic doctor..

but there are many a day when not a single fuck is given
sleep in
have to study areas of medicine I detest (endocrinology, bleurgh)
have, like today, spent over 12 hours in the library etcccc

I guess you know when a career is for you is when ultimately you know that the things you enjoy outweigh the things you don't like,
that it excites you,
that you know you will be good at it.


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Re: How do you know when you enjoy something - May 7th 2012, 10:41 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by her_beautiful_mistake View Post
I guess you know when a career is for you is when ultimately you know that the things you enjoy outweigh the things you don't like,
that it excites you,
that you know you will be good at it.

So I guess everyone else who doesn't enjoy doing anything 90-100% of the time regardless of what they do are considered 'depressed' and are put on zombifying medicine to make them slug through life.

Makes sense
   
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