Can passion make you successful

Follow your passion - or better not?

Should you follow your own passion and turn it into a profession? The opinions of influential Silicon Valley celebrities differ here. Steve Jobs Stanford speech in 2005 and Ben Horowitz ‘speech in Columbia 2015 are two examples. The former said: "Do what is important to you," the second "do not follow your passion."

I am confused now. You also?

According to the British career researcher, 80,000 hours is the amount of books with the guiding principle follow your heart since 1995 increased many times over. It is increasingly suggested that one only needs to listen to oneself in order to discover one's own calling and thereby make the right career choice. But how does it look in practice?

Think like a scientist

It seems to be the case much more often that one tries out professions because of the money or the opportunity and only then becomes interested in them - this is also proven 80,000 hours. True to the motto "with the food comes the appetite".
On the other hand, the career researchers note that we all have more than one passion and that our interests change over the course of our lives. Committing ourselves, that limits us. “Follow Your Heart” should be updated as a resolution throughout life. Better: pursue the search for your own vocation according to the principle of scientific hypothesis, i.e. set up hypotheses (e.g. "I could become an editor") and test (e.g. start blogging, do an internship at a magazine, etc.).

The "learning-by-doing" principle

Herminia Ibarra from Harvard Business School comes to a similar conclusion in her book “Working Identity”: professional identity is not a “hidden treasure to be discovered within ourselves, but a combination of several possibilities”. One of the 39 people Who appears in Ibarra's longitudinal study of career changes is IT professional Gary. On the path of self-discovery, he follows his passions as a diving instructor and winemaker, only to find that neither is a suitable career choice for him.
Ibarra's conclusion: We learn who we are through “trial and error” in practice, in dealing with others, not in theory through introspection. In addition, we seem to have a large number of possible (work) identities in terms of professional life, which we can only research specifically in practice.

The leisure principle for a creative life

Are you not putting yourself and others under pressure when you expect the job to be fulfilling in every way? Kind of like the ideal partner - Mr. or Mrs. Right? As personalities we have several facets that need to be developed or not?
In her book "Big Magic", bestselling author and TED lecturer Elisabeth Gilbert tells of a woman named Susan who passionately trained figure skating as a student, but said goodbye in her later professional life - unfortunately her talent would not have been enough for (Olympic) victories . At the age of forty, Susan decided to follow her passion and train three times a week. As a hobby. A hobby that creates a more intense attitude towards life. Gilbert's message: It doesn't have to be about winning medals if you want to develop your “inner treasures” and experience the “transcendence” of a creative life.

The "shit sandwich" principle

The sandwich principle also applies here: Basically, a job consists of appearing reliable every day and not just when it suits you. This component is often forgotten. On the other hand, even with things you love, there are unloved corners and edges. Elisabeth Gilbert provocatively calls this the "shit sandwich". It should be noted that writers, musicians and even celebrity chefs have to bite into the "shit sandwich".

The zigzag and the point principle

Research shows: people cannot predict what will make them happy in the future. Neither do they seem to be able to predict which profession they will be successful in. Steve Jobs expressed this future blindness very graphically when he said: “You can't connect the dots when you have them in front of you. The connection is only made afterwards. ”He himself had made a long journey from Zen Buddhism to the IT industry.
Contrary to what is claimed in university graduation speeches, the journey is not so smooth, but zigzagging and taking detours. According to the motto: If you get lost, you will find yourself. The hidden message seems to be rather: "Courage to go wrong".

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