Steve Job’s famous Stanford commencement speech
Those of us in the VFX industry certainly love what we do. So it was interesting to read this post by someone who left a job they were passionate about for something that is, well, boring and practical:
I walked away from the career I was so emotionally invested in, the thing I loved to do, and into a career that’s honestly just a job for me. It’s just something I do for money, nothing more or less.
Many of us in the VFX industry look to Steve Jobs as an idol and his famous commencement speech to graduates at Stanford University is incredibly inspiring. In it he encourages them to “don’t settle”, “stay foolish”, and do what you love.
However some doubt it’s realistic:
“Find what you love and never settle for less” is an excellent recipe for frustration and poverty. “Reconcile yourself to the limits of your talent and temperament and find the most satisfactory compromise between what you love to do and what you need to do feed your children” is rather less stirring, but it’s much better advice.
and some urge to be practical:
The problem is, the people who give these sorts of speeches are the outliers: the folks who have made a name for themselves in some very challenging, competitive, and high-status field. No one ever brings in the regional sales manager for a medical supplies firm to say, “Yeah, I didn’t get to be CEO. But I wake up happy most mornings, my kids are great, and my golf game gets better every year.”
I got into VFX because I loved it, and what I’ve learned is that you have to give it tough love or else it can ruin you. Doing what you love can be tough because there are people who expect that because you love it, you’ll be willing to sacrifice more.
As you eventually mature, you realize that the future is a bit imperfect for doing what you’re passionate about as other needs arise: family, age, health. But hey? You love what you do right?