Do What You Love

Added on by Greg Anderson.
Hi Greg,
I am a high school student who's been studying ARCT repertoire for 3-4 years now. I'm in an academically demanding program and I study hard. Nowadays I find that because of my studies I tend to practice piano less and less (AHHH!!). I only get to practice an hour a day at most- if I'm lucky. Last year, I entered a lot of competitions and played at nationals for one of them. Overall, I think I did relatively well (compared to the extremely limited number of practice hours I put in, that is). I love music, but I find that in the past I've been putting it aside just because I thought "what am I going to do in life with a music degree? Let's just be a doctor" haha. But I've just recently realized that I actually want to do what I really love to do. Do you think I should drop out of my academic program and devote myself fully to the piano? But what if I decide I want to go back..? Ahh :s
 - Confused

Dear Confused,

Wow! These are intense questions!

I'm obviously of the mentality that one should base one's career on what he or she loves to do. What may surprise you is that I also believe one can love to do a great many things. Job satisfaction comes from how you chose to respond to situations at work, not the situations themselves. How did I get through high school without going crazy? I made the most of my assignments -- I turned them into projects that interested me. A simple report became a full magazine spread; an essay became a passionate opinion piece; a science project became a wild and engaging museum piece. I filled speeches with appropriate magic tricks, and I found ways to insert music into everything. I may have created more work for myself, but because I was invested in what I was doing, it felt like less.

The point is: you can probably turn anything you do into something you love. It all depends on your approach. I honestly believe that you can drop out of your academic program or you can stay registered, and in either case, you can find ways to be happy.

And what if you want to go back? If you are truly determined, you'll find a way to make anything happen.

Good luck and HAVE FUN!

- Greg (Dec. 30, 08)