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February 8th, 2013 (5:41 AM).
S P A R K of madness
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Carolina Blue
I'll be the first penguin in the water here. Come and get me, orcas.
Treat it like you're a five-year-old, when everything was incredible and worth learning (this got me through the dreadful and morally wrong economics courses). Switch the "I don't know" (with a tone of sadness) to "I don't know" (with a tone of excitement and possibility), and suddenly you look under the rock and find it wonderful to learn for learning's sake. In technical terms, "inspiration," is something that gets you from "can't do" to "can." So get inspired. Build something.
So yes, you can develop a passion for what you don't initially have if you can get to a point of autonomy, competence, and relatedness. The first two come from skill in that particular area, so you'd have to shut your self-doubt down and dive in, even projecting a desired lifestyle that uses the skill as a foundation (motivating you to reach it). As my History of Imagination professor said, "Doubt your own intelligence, then use the HELL out of it." For instance, I wasn't into coding; I loathed how hard it was for me. Yet, day after day, step after step, knowing that world-class skills would land me world-class opportunities, things were built. That's an incredible feeling.
Also, before it comes up too regularly, "find your passion" is a desease of a phrase that will drag you to back to your cubicle hopeless, only allowing for spurts of motivation where nothing gets done. Or worse, it dangerously leads you to believe that you can just exit your current life to a completely and drastically different industry without getting some horrible scars (ie. all the suits that go out of their mind, jump to opening a dance studio thinking it might be there passion and then end up just as miserable). Look for adjacencies. Stay somewhere until you build the skill and autonomy to try on the next thing. This mistake even happens with chief officers, when Ron left Apple to go to JCPenny, thinking he could radically change their fortunes and the industry, he made decisions — like removing coupons — that tanked stocks more than 40 percent. Those stories the internet conjures up about people who magically fell in love with something, radically changed, and everything worked out perfectly are
. We think it happens more often because we don't hear so often of all the failures that happen each day.
How vague and full of platonic ideal, "find your passion," making you feel as though nothing is ever good enough. It's why people think their major has some end-all significance — kids freaking out about a title with 60 years ahead of them. Pick something you want to learn and soak it up; don't know? Spread your reach like wildfire. Build some skills on the side so the job market doesn't carve you up and viola. Go after a lifestyle, go after honor, go after a remarkable life. Many exciting paths can get you there instead of one particular, almost-soul-mate-like, "passion" or ultimate decision that sets everything in stone. Things are really not so hopelessly narrow in a world of abundance. Once you "get" that, holy Hades, you got it kid.
I know this position isn't taken easily, but when we look at remarkable lives over (Yes, even Steve Jobs), we see a combination of luck and skill, not this awesome serendipitous moment where you suddenly know your calling, change everything, and are able to take it to outer-worldly levels. Try everything, repeat what you love. Place many small bets on a lot of different things while you've got something that's your rock — for me, my writing (English major) is my rock as I dabble in investing (Economics major) & high-level mathematics.
Learn something the world would love for you to learn, and that you'd like to take a stab at, too — you're more welcome at the table when you bring something. Bring energy and they'll enjoy lunch. Bring energy and value and they'll ask you to stay for dinner.
credit to easterly
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