Enough and more people have told us to follow our passion to craft our ideal careers. Steve Jobs, thanks to his Stanford speech, became the poster boy for doling out this advice.
But how does one follow one’s passion?
One method is to examine our interests and use them as a starting point. Such as the successful software engineer quitting her job to open a store for fishing supplies. Or the corporate finance professional who pivots to pursue his interest in playing the violin.
However, our passions often remain undiscovered for a reason. Once the first roadblock appears – the difficulty in securing a fishing license or the competition we face in becoming a concert violinist, it seems as though those pursuits are no longer our passions. Our brain automatically switches to the next shiny pursuit.
The other method is to truly become the master at a particular field. To dig deeper than the average person, put in the 10,000 hours and become so good that there are few people who can specifically offer whatever you do. The focus here is on doing the hard work – the grind of serving an unmet need and producing something valuable. When that is through, you see your mastery evolving into your passion.
Mastery leads to passion and not the other way around. Put the horse before the cart.
Steve Jobs, whose passions were calligraphy and design, attained mastery over technology. Subsequently, he became the world’s most valuable entrepreneur who asked everybody to follow their passion.
Inspiration: So Good They Can’t Ignore You – Cal Newport