This is a hotly debated topic in “work life.” And a bit of a chicken and egg conundrum, too.

Some people say, “do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.”

Others say that’s bad advice and that the pushers of passion are wrong.

Author and speaker Cal Newport argues against following your passion. He says it’s terrible advice and that there is no pre-existing passion.

Newport believes that when you focus on your “rare and valuable skill” that you can cultivate, then, you will create a life that you love and are passionate about.

(Most people as kids, didn’t fantasize about being in sales or dream of working in an office or taking clients to lunch.)

In fact, Cal Newport has studied people who are living a life they are deeply passionate about and found that those people did not start from a place of doing what they love.

Instead, he found when people focused on their rare and valuable skills, got better and better at it, eventually they were able to create and build a life they are wildly passionate about. (And the irony is people always assume they followed their passion!)

There’s a song from the 1970s that goes…

“And if you can’t be with the one you love, honey
Love the one you’re with.”

In other words, love doesn’t come first, it comes later.

And he says this, too:

“The happiest, most passionate employees are not those who followed their passion into a position, but instead those who have been around long enough to become good at what they do.”

So, I suppose the good news is…

  1. If you are doing what you love now – keep doing it.
  2. If you are not doing what you love now, but if you keep working on your unique skills, you have a good chance of getting there and you’ll find that love.

I must confess.

I am one of those classic passion pushers.

I believe in risk-taking to do what you love and love what you do and if those things can be one and the same, you’ve won the game. For me, it comes down to something actor Jim Carrey has said: “You can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.”

Comments?  Please let me know your thoughts. And if you liked this post, please share! – AW

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