Sunday, March 8, 2015

Is "Follow Your Passion" Bad Advice?

Are you following your passion?  Where did it take you?

Ever since I was little my passion was to help people.  If I ever see someone who needs help, my heart goes out to them and I do my best to assist them.

I thought that was fine until I realized it wasn't helpful during my job search.  I was confused about what kind of job I could do with my passion and became discouraged.  "Helping people" as a passion is very broad, and it didn't help me decide on what kind of career I wanted.  

I worried a lot about my future.  I worried and stressed over questions like "What do I want to do in the future" or "What kind of company or field did I want to work in?".

One night, I watched a video on LinkedIn that changed me.  It was Cal Newport giving a lecture about why "Follow You Passion" is bad advice.  His reasoning was that it's not useful if you don't know your passion.  Even if you do know it that doesn't mean you'll ending up liking what you're doing.

He pointed out three steps that'll help people love what they do:

1) Don't follow your passion.

2) Develop and work on a skill that'll be valuable

3) Do Deep Work

Deep Work is a task that is cognitively challenging but rewarding.  If you do Deep Work, it'll improve the skill you've decided to work on and may even help you find your passion.  Most often than not, passion is found accidentally.

After watching that video, my eyes were opened.  Having a successful career isn't reliant on passion.  Concentrating on your skill helps you find your passion, and you work because you want to nurture your passion.  That's different from what most of society thinks.

Did you find this post interesting?  I think Cal Newport's video is really good so here's the link: