From The Phantom Tollbooth:
If you only do the easy and useless jobs, you’ll never have to worry about the important ones which are so difficult. You just won’t have the time. For there’s always something to do to keep you from what you really should be doing, and if it weren’t for that dreadful magic staff, you’d never know how much time you were wasting.
From David Ferguson’s Find The Thing You’re Most Passionate About, Then Do It On Nights And Weekends For The Rest Of Your Life in The Onion:
All that matters is that once you know what you want to do, you dive in a full 10 percent and spend the other 90 torturing yourself because you know damn well that it’s far too late to make a drastic career change, and that you’re stuck on this mind-numbing path for the rest of your life. […] Really, the biggest obstacle to overcome here—aside from every single obligation you have to your friends, family, job, and financial future—is you. And I’ll tell you this much: You don’t want to wake up in 10 years and think to yourself, “What if I had just gone after my dreams during those brief 30-minute lunch breaks when I was younger?” Because even if it doesn’t work out, don’t you owe it to yourself to look in the mirror and confidently say, “You know what, I gave it my best half-hearted shot”?
And from John Gurdon:
I had an uncle (no blood relation) who took a job in the House of Commons because it gave him three months in the summer, during parliamentary recess, to study an ecological project that had always intrigued him. Eventually he became recognised as an “amateur” and was appointed as the first director general of The Nature Conservancy. In his case, he needed some 30 years to finally do the job that he really liked.
Maybe the lesson is this: if a person is really motivated, or perhaps obsessed, with an interest, you probably can, eventually, make a career in that field, even if all your exams go against you. Perhaps schoolmasters and university teachers should keep a lookout for an aptitude and huge interest, and give it a chance to flourish. Perhaps it is never too late to end up doing what you really like.
Some thoughts that might be particularly relevant to Grad School Life (TM), but apply to many other personal and professional situations…