Yesterday Barry Sharpless won his second nobel prize. He is the 5th person ever and only living person to have 2 nobel prizes. DH was working with Barry when he won his 1st nobel prize in 2001. It was a privilege to meet, chat, and learn from him. DH called him a genius and he really was. I remember being 22 and impressed with his house and the guy himself when I met him. He drove a Honda Civic hatchback because he didn't care what he drove. But flew always with 2 seats in first class so he could have space for his papers to read and work on planes.
I remember him talking to a bunch of us young students, hanging yes on his every word, telling us not to give up. That we needed to find our passion. That you should love what you do because it will lead to success. That wanting to go to work would lead to money. Money he said doesn't do anything but buy you the opportunity to find happiness. He said when he just wanted to explore where science lead him.
His energy and work ethic because of his passion were amazing. And we never forget the lesson of being excited about work. When you stop being excited he said it shows and that's when it's time to move on and figure out what does excite you.
I get people working hard to FIRE and find their passion. But not all of us can easily retire super cheap and save tons of money early on. Instead some of us have to suck it up and work awhile. But we always remembered that if we weren't excited we should move on. Because the passion for work showed and it helped us stand out and succeed at our jobs rather than just sliding by and meandering.
It also was enlightening to see someone working very obviously NOT for money (he's a multimillionaire several times over and was by the time we met him). But because he loves what he does. His recent interview he was asked what is it like to know that he helped change the world by creating 2 new chemical reactions both increadibly important and revelotionary to drug discovery. Without these reactions we would not be where we are today in modern medicine. His answer "it's why he works because he wants to give back to society and loves what he does. He never imagined it would have this sort of impact."
As for us? I'm still not sure I want to be working at 81. But if I still love what I do then I guess I will. I am reminding DH now that with his startup if he loves what he does great. But after this I think he's FI, will he RE? I don't know. He's so passionate about what he does he says he can't imagine quitting. Guess following our passion has been lucrative and nice.