24 Mar 7 “P’s” that might be better to follow than your Passion
via Mashable by Aaron Orendorff
It’s common wisdom. Near gospel really, and not just among young people and founders. Across generational lines, sentiments like those from Steve Jobs’ 2005 commencement at Stanford have been engraved into our collective consciousness:
“The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.”
In other words, follow your passion. There’s just one problem: “‘Follow your passion’ is dangerous advice.”
That’s a troubling claim, but it comes straight from Cal Newport’s investigation into “the details of how passionate people like Steve Jobs really got started” as well as what scientists say predicts happiness and fuels great accomplishment.
Newport’s not alone. In recent years, a host of leaders, academics, and entrepreneurs have all come to the same startling conclusion: nearly everything you’ve been told about following your passion is wrong.
Here are seven habits you need instead.
1. Not passion, purpose
Ryan Holiday, author of Ego Is the Enemy:
“Your passion may be the very thing holding you back from power or influence or accomplishment. Because just as often, we fail with — no, because of — passion. … [P]urpose deemphasizes the I. Purpose is about pursuing something outside yourself as opposed to pleasuring yourself.”
Until about a century ago, passion was a dirty word. Classical philosopher like Socrates and Marcus Aurelius saw passion as a liability not an asset: an insatiable and destructive force. Why?
Chiefly because passion is dangerously self-centered. In fact, our own modern descriptions of passion betray this inward bend: “I want to [blank]. I need to [blank]. I have to [blank].” In most cases, whatever word finishes those sentences — regardless of how well meaning it might be — is overshadowed by the first.
Purpose, on the other hand, is about them, not me. It reorients our focus onto the people and causes we’re trying to reach, serve, help, and love. In The Happiness Hypothesis, psychologist Jonathan Haidt describes this pursuit as a “striving to get the right relationships between yourself and others, between yourself and your work, and between yourself and something larger than yourself. If you get these relationships right, a sense of purpose and meaning will emerge.”
Passion makes us bigger. Purpose connects us to something bigger and in doing so makes us right sized.
2. Not passion, picking
Shaa Wasmund, author of Stop Talking, Start Doing:
“‘No’ is a far more powerful word than ‘Yes.’ Every ‘Yes’ said out of obligation or fear takes time away from the things and people we love. When an opportunity appears connected with your passion, it’s even trickier. Instead of snatching up everything that might get your closer to the life you want, give yourself the space to pick carefully.”
Good is the enemy of great. That’s how Jim Collins put it anyway. Learning to say “No” is easily one of the most vital skills we can cultivate. And yet, even if you’ve mastered “No” to the obvious stuff, passion rears its head.
The blinding effect of passion leads us unthinkingly into projects and meetings that, in truth, are dead ends. Worse, they sap time and energy that would otherwise move us forward. When Tim Ferriss asked journalist Kara Swisher what message she’d put on a billboard for millions to see, her answer was a single word, “Stop.”
And that’s what picking is all about: slow down, pause, evaluate, weigh, and only then make a clear-headed choice. Picking involves, first, putting a time buffer on our decisions, particularly decisions that appear “connected with your passion.” Second, running our choices by an objective third party: a friend or colleague who can call out our blind spots.
Sleep on it. Reach out. The sun will rise tomorrow. And be ruthless with your “No’s.”
…keep reading the full & original article HERE