I wrote a comment on the ARCHN blog, and decided I like it so much I'm going expand on it a little and post it here. Yes I know I am lame like that. I guess it's even kind of overkill since most of my readers come from ARCHN anyway. But anyway here ya go:
It's about people (not just Objectivists) who think that it's a great idea to "follow your dreams", at any cost, and regardless of if it matches your natural abilities. Objectivism bears a significant similarity to Communism in their attitudes concerning work. It has been said that one reason why Communism failed is because it put so much emphasis on the importance of work as a enjoyable and virtuous activity, and most people don't enjoy work at all, and would rather slack off and be lazy. Come on, admit it...I do. Objectivism is similar in this respect.
The reason why work is called WORK is because people generally don't enjoy doing it, and therefore must get paid in order to do it. Most people don't particularly enjoy their jobs, and most jobs are not particularly enjoyable. In fact many of the most important jobs to society are extremely unenjoyable, such as garbage collectors, construction workers, line cooks. Contrary to the Randian notion of the noble businessman being the most crucial and productive member of society, a farmer probably contributes more to production and is more indispensable to society than a CEO.
It's easy for Steve Jobs to make his "Stay young, stay foolish" speech, when he has earned millions doing it. But for the vast majority of us, that is awful advice.
When asked how she managed to have such staying power in the fickle entertainment industry, Jennifer Lopez said that she thought of her music as primarily as a job and only second as something she loves. Scott Adams also said that he saw his "Dilbert" cartoons as his work, and that it was "never a joy".
There will always be days when you won't love or feel like going to work, no matter how much you might initially love your art. Success requires diligence and commitment even during the times when you don't enjoy it.
Even in my work (I'm a biology grad student), I've seen countless bitter, disenchanted techs, postdocs and grad students who went into science because they "loved" or were "passionate" about it. 90% of experiments fail, and it can be very frustrating and disappointing. When you realize that 6 months of hard work and experiments has pretty much been for nothing, no amount of love or passion is going to make up for it. So if you go into science thinking that you love it and you're going to make great discoveries, you're setting yourself up for a rude shock, because when that doesn't happen (and most of the time it doesn't) you're going to be bitterly disappointed. The way I see it is that my research is ultimately a job that I do to support myself, so I am committed to doing my best, and I probably enjoy it better than other alternatives, and if I find enjoyment and groundbreaking discoveries on top of that, it's icing. (Of course that is not what I said in my interview, but then again, who would...)
I would even go as far as to say these people are being misleading and disingenuous to say that they are doing what they "love" and encourage people to follow their passions at any cost. Sure, if I could get suckers to give me millions of dollars, I'd love whatever it was I was doing too.
Maybe some people get lucky making lots of money doing what they love, but the vast majority of the time, one would do much better to be realistic about your own abilities and qualifications and choose your line of work thusly. There is perhaps another reason why advice urging people to be realistic doesn't get that much airtime or glory, especially with the high school or college age crowd. (I saw that "Stay young, stay foolish" on so many of my friends' blogs and stuff I want to puke") It doesn't sound as exciting or romantic. And people don't like being reminded of their limitations. But in the long run, I think it would pay off.
Also, I thought about what I said yesterday about people being rude to me on my blog. Maybe by having a blog like this, I am kind of opening myself up to whatever shit people might want to say. I still don't like it though, and would appreciate it if people were not rude to me on my own blog that they are reading on their own volition. That being said, whatever, if you still want to be mean to me, go ahead, take your best shot!