A few days ago I lamented about the unhappiness that I see in many newly graduated friends. Yesterday I had a rare insight that has made me more hopeful about my own future than at any time since starting law school. Actually, it was two insights…
1. I am living on nearly zero income right now and am incredibly happy.
2. On my deathbed I won’t care a lick about the number of people I’ve impressed.
The stress of finding the right job has been driven by two things: money and status. Even while specifically saying that I would never do it, my decisions about future career have been silently influenced by what is the most lucrative and would impress others. But I quite suddenly realized, or I should say I officially accepted, that what matters most of all is passion. That cannot be compromised. I can’t do something because I’m good at it. I can’t do something because it’s easy. I can’t do something because other people expect me to do it.
Nothing about that realization is profound. I’ve seen it and heard it many times…
“Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion.
“Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.”
None of this changes my big goals in life, just what I am willing to do to get there. I may not reach the state capitol by making friends with the corporate elite connected to the big Chicago firms. But I just might get there by helping LGBT families plan their estates to work around their inability to get married.