Ditch Digging Passion

I once read a book of letters and speeches written by Richard Feynman, compiled by his daughter, Michelle Feynman. In a letter he wrote to a college freshman, he shares some invaluable advice:

“Work hard to find something that fascinates you. When you find it, you will know your lifework, A man may be digging a ditch for someone else, or because he is forced to, or is stupid – such a man is ‘toolish’ -while another working even harder may not be recognized by the bystanders – but he may be digging for treasure. So dig for treasure and when you find it, you will know what to do. In the meantime, you don’t need to make the decision – steer your practical affairs so the alternatives remain open to you…. The man happy in his work is not the narrow specialist, nor the well-rounded man, but a man who is doing what he loves.”

– Richard P. Feynman

I came across this quote in my own blog, while trying to recycle some ideas for a university program application essay. I think it is natural for people to pursue the things they are interested or passionate about. Some may be naturally good at it, while others may not be as adept as others at it in the beginning; it is inevitable that sometimes our vision gets obstructed by the smoke and haze ahead.

Let Feynman’s words serve as a reminder for all of us.

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