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Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work

Work first, passion second

“Passion is not something you follow. It’s something that will follow you as you put in the hard work to become valuable to the world.”

Cal Newport

Passion is something you discover after the work has been done.  You can’t possibly know what you’re passionate about without experimenting first. 

You may have an idea about what you like.  That’s a good start. Now put it into practice and then ask yourself the tough questions:  

  • Are you naturally good at it? If so, are you likely to get bored?  
  • If you’re not a natural, is this something you can get good at with time and patience?  Do you like it enough to persist?

The above questions are essential to discovering whether or not you’re actually enthusiastic about something.  

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. 

Steve Jobs

Passion emerges through a diversity of experiences that allow one to tie it all altogether. A beginner’s mind, an open mind — are essential ingredients to railing against monomaniac passions that keep you in one place.

If you have an idea, test it.  Test it not just to see if it works but also to see if it excites you and if it’s something really worth pursuing.  

I realized why I need to start a new company. Not for the money. Not because I’m ‘bored’. But because a company is a laboratory to try your ideas.  

Derek Sivers

Figuring out what you love to do takes a combination of gut and experimentation.  Like a frog hopping between lilypads, it may take a few jumps before you discover which vocation makes you feel most alive.

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By Wells Baum

Wells Baum is a daily blogger who writes about Life & Arts. He's also the author of Discvr.blog and four books.