The big thing today seems to be videos, books, articles and lectures about how to find your passion, or mission, calling, purpose, etc. It’s such a big topic that it’s even becoming a large topic to talk about passion seeking as a disappointing pursuit to be avoided.
Rather than take a strong viewpoint on either side and just add to the noise, I’d like to simply add some perspective. I have a few book recommendations I’d like to throw out and recommend you read this year. These books may not answer questions directly, but they will give you more substance in which to base your decisions in life.
- So Good They Can’t Ignore You by Cal Newport
This is one of the books that helped push against the “find your passion” mentality. In it, Newport argues that skill building will ultimately lead to career fulfilment better than following your passion. However, he seems to view a passion as something synonymous with a hobby. In my opinion, he basically is saying “don’t follow your hobby”. I think some of us may have a slightly different definition of what our passion would be, or perhaps not. Either way, his argument for skill building is something to consider.
- Deep Work by Cal Newport
I view this book as a great follow up to Newport’s So Good They Can’t Ignore You. It goes into the more pragmatic details on how to build deeply satisfying work into your career or chosen profession.
- Masters of Doom by David Kushner
It may seem like I’m coming way out of left field on this one, but give me a few sentences to make my case. This book is the story about the guys would built the Doom computer games back in the early 90’s. If you’re not interested in video games you certainly won’t have the nostalgic flashbacks that I did. However, I think there’s some very interesting takeaways here regarding finding work that you love. Here’s a team who didn’t have much money, but set to work on something that they cared about and wanted to work hard at. Pay particular attention to John Carmack’s story. Today, this man is a multi-millionaire and has launched various cutting edge products. Back then though, the book mentions that he was sufficiently happy just programming and solving interesting problems as long as there was enough pizza and Diet Coke to sustain him. If you read in the context of Newport’s books above, I think you may find a powerful example.
Let us know if you end up reading any of these! Did any have an impact on you? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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