“Following Your Passion” Is For Suckers

One of my favorite bloggers is none other than Mark Cuban – yeah the NBA Dallas Mavericks owner – he’s a brilliant writer at Blog Maverick.  Recently he wrote something so good, something I believe in so much – I’m just going to re-run the entire thing because I could not have said it any better myself.  Here’s the post:

Don’t Follow Your Passion, Follow Your Effort

I hear it all the time from people. “I’m passionate about it.” “I’m not going to quit, It’s my passion”. Or I hear it as advice to students and others “Follow your passion”.

What a bunch of BS.  ”Follow Your Passion” is easily the worst advice you could ever give or get.

Why ? Because everyone is passionate about something. Usually more than 1 thing.  We are born with it. There are always going to be things we love to do. That we dream about doing. That we really really want to do with our lives. Those passions aren’t worth a nickel.

Think about all the things you have been passionate about in your life. Think about all those passions that you considered making a career out of or building a company around.  How many were/are there ? Why did you bounce from one to another ?  Why were you not able to make a career or business out of any of those passions ? Or if you have been able to have some success, what was the key to the success.? Was it the passion or the effort you put in to your job or company ?

If you really want to know where you destiny lies, look at where you apply your time.

Time is the most valuable asset you don’t own. You may or may not realize it yet, but how you use or don’t use your time is going to be the best indication of where your future is going to take you .

Let me make this as clear as possible

1. When you work hard at something you become good at it.

2. When you become good at doing something, you will enjoy it more.

3. When you enjoy doing something, there is a very good chance you will become passionate or more passionate about it

4. When you are good at something, passionate and work even harder to excel and be the best at it, good things happen.

Don’t follow your passions, follow your effort. It will lead you to your passions and to success, however you define it.

It’s probably the worst advice we ever give out as HR Professionals – “Oh, just do what you Love!” or “What are you passionate about? Do That!”, etc.  This is development!  This isn’t helping someone truly get better!   It’s psycho-babble that is sold by an industry that has found out they can make money on you by telling you this crap because you like to hear it – it makes you feel good.  But it’s not reality.

Adult learners – for the most part – are hardwired by the time you get them.  They are very hard to change.  But, if they are good at something, and they even put more time and effort into that thing – they can become “really” good at it – they can become “experts”.  When you become an expert you will be amazed at how passionate you become!

3 thoughts on ““Following Your Passion” Is For Suckers

  1. This is true almost all of the time. Others who have reached the same conclusion include Malcolm Gladwell in “Outliers” and Marcus Buckingham et al in all of the “StregthsFinders.”
    It’s not true for children who have the freedom and time to explore “interests” or passions and not true for the alredy wealthy who also have the freedom and time. There are some passions that we all have time for – self awareness and mindfulness.

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