Sunday, August 14, 2011

Follow Your Passion

Recently, any self-help guru you give starts with this advice: "Find your passion. The motivation and success will follow."

But finding that passion is more difficult than it sounds. Some people discover it early. But for almost everyone else, it is a wild goose chase. For most people it requires trying lots of things, and that can take many years. Sometimes that is too late. Sometimes those many years on a crooked road can lead to tremendous frustration. Folks can wonder if their "passion" exists.

My advice is, and has always been, to do the opposite. 

Find a thing you can do competently. Then become passionate about that thing. Gradually develop expertise in a tiny area of that thing. (Hopefully that expertise will be in an area that nobody else wants to do.)

I am not saying "finding your passion" is impossible or is unwise in hard times. In any environment it is not the best strategy unless you are one of the lucky few who fall into it. Everyone else can look for it, but don't sit on your hands until you find it.

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