In one of my favourite lines in my favourite book Zooey comments that: “Anyone who’s using his real ego doesn’t have time for goddamn hobbies.” The notion that when you are doing what you really should be doing — fulfilling your vocation — you aren’t tempted by gadget-heavy distractions appeals to me. It suggests a life of psychological minimalism where your mind is made beautiful by being clear and functional.
Attaining this state of bliss requires thought and discipline. In The Case For Working With Your Hands Matthew Crawford writes:
As a young person surveys the various ways he could make a living, and how they might be part of a life well lived, the pertinent question for him may not be what IQ he has, but whether he is, for example, careful or commanding. If he is to find work that is fitting, he would do well to pause amidst the general rush to the gates.
You don’t get to be who you really are, or learn to do what you really want, by blindly following. You have to be selfish. Demand time. Dig your heels in. Say “no” even when you’re not sure why. Trust your gut. Not least: work. Pursuing your passion is never the soft option. You will have to fight and to make sacrifices but — this is the important thing — it will be your battle, your choices and your freedom you win.
As Natalie Goldberg puts it in Writing Down The Bones:
I used to think freedom meant doing whatever you want. [But] it means knowing who you are, what you are supposed to be doing on this earth and then simply doing it.