You can’t always make what you love, but you can always choose to love what you make.
In every task, from large and important to small and menial, you have the opportunity to take pride in your work. There is no level of skill or seniority where you don’t have to do something you don’t want to do, even if only for a while. Learning to care deeply about the quality and the beauty of your work will pay dividends, but it is easier said than done.
The chief enemy of the ability to love what you make is ego. Ego tells us that we are too good for the task, that the task is beneath us. It is impossible to care deeply about the task at hand when our ego is in the picture.
But not all half-polished work is the result of ego. A common mistake is thinking that what really matters about the task is simply getting it done. But there is hardly a task on earth where the manner in which it was accomplished is of no consequence.
And even the smallest details add up. The extra bit of attention to aesthetics in your slide deck. A codebase that is not just well-architected, but laid out in beautiful simplicity so that even a novice programmer can understand and appreciate it.
Even when you think nobody is looking, your work matters. As you build the habit of focusing on creating a labor of love, you will begin to appreciate the beauty of what you make, and you will continue to hold yourself to a higher standard. The end result is the ability to find joy and satisfaction in any task, not just the ones you feel like doing.