“The people who started Staples didn’t do it because they love office supplies. They did it because they love organizing and running profitable retail businesses. They love hiring and leasing and telling a story that converts prospects into customers. Postits are sort of irrelevant.”
— Seth Godin
It’s an irresistible proposition.
Follow your passion and you’ll somehow stumble across money, happiness, and eternal fulfillment.
Of course, “what you’re passionate about” is almost never “what you’re doing”.
It’s a trap.
Following your passion, or any other elusive emotion, is a surefire way to confuse yourself and waste lots of time.
But it’s a mantra that has become incredibly popular.
We celebrate, even envy, the guy with a family of 5 who quits his job to launch a startup out of his garage.
It’s a great story when it works. Not so much when the kids go hungry.
If you hate your job but you’re sticking with it because of the medical benefits, it might be a story you need to hear.
But for the rest of us, it’s destructive.
It gives us a reason to not do our work. It distracts us with the idea that there’s something else we should be doing. Instead of doing what’s in front of us.
That’s what separates the amateur from the professional.
The amateur looks for passion. The professional creates it.