Derek Sivers

Entrepreneur, programmer, avid student of life. I make useful things, and share what I learn.

What do you hate not doing?

We've all asked ourselves, “What do I really love?” or “What makes me happy?”

I've wrestled when the emotion-based answers conflict with expectations. (I'm a musician, but I love working alone. Does that mean I should be a producer instead of performer? I'm an entrepreneur but I hate doing business deals. Does that mean I'm more of a CTO than CEO?)

Last week I thought of it a different way, that I like better:

What do you hate NOT doing?

(What makes you feel icky, irritated, annoyed or off-track if you don't do it enough?)

I hate not programming.
Programming, to me, is the ultimate purposeful creativity. I have so many ideas in my head of websites that would make the world a better place if they existed, services that could help people. It's just a matter of taking a thousand hours to type it all out and turn ideas into reality. Any week not programming is a disappoinment to myself and maybe to others.
I hate not writing.
There are so many things I've learned that I think would help other people to know. Things I wish someone had told me sooner. Things that have made my life better, brighter, or wiser. I want to tell everyone these things before I die, in a well-explained way so they're not misunderstood, and easy to pass on to others. And more new ones are added every week. So I have to keep writing to get them all out. Any day I'm not writing, I'm falling further behind in this goal, which I makes me feel worse.
I hate not biking.
I love the adrenaline rush of riding my bike. I love knowing it's good for my health, and making my legs and cardiovascular system stronger so I can bike across India soon. I love it so much that when I don't do it for even a few days, I get annoyed. When I see other people biking, and I'm not biking, I get jealous.
I hate not talking with friends.
I'm in my own head so much, that I love hearing what my friends are thinking about instead. I love how my friends think. I care about them and feel icky when too disconnected from them for too long.

Asking the double-negative seems to be a better indicator of what I really love doing, than asking it in the positive.

Anyway - I'm probably overlooking some of my own, but now I'm more curious to hear yours.

What do you hate NOT doing?