I’ve been reading Cal Newport’s blog and he has changed the way I see “passion” and finding your purpose in life.
I’ve read a lot of blogs and seen a lot of videos where it all appears so simple.
Just go within, find what you love, quit your job and be happy! Live an extraordinary life! Don’t let society’s expectations hold you back! Live the dream! It’s within your reach!
I don’t know about you, but I’ve never found this as simple as it looked. I’ve gone within and came back not a bit wiser about specifics concerning my “purpose”. It has exasperated me beyond words. It even went so far that I had given up on it all together and decided to live a life without goals.
Maybe this works for some people, but it really sapped me of my motivation and energy. It’s at this juncture in my life, where I was utterly clueless and demotivated, that I found a new and refreshing view that made the whole concept of “find your passion and do it now!” less scary and more down to earth.
According to Cal Newport, if you want to do something remarkable with your life, you will first need to acquire the necessary skill and expertise, this takes time and hard work. Not hard as in unpleasant, but it will require you to dive deep into the subject and find out all there is to find out. No quick-fix solutions, no “just be courageous for a second and live happily ever after”.
Maybe you’re wondering why I’m so happy about this. I’m happy because it’s real. If there isn’t one special thing I am “born” to be doing, I don’t have this sense of the clock ticking and my purpose slipping further and further away from me. I can find fulfillment in anything I choose, as long as I get to the bottom of it. You will feel passionate about what you’re doing when you become better and better at it, and I think this notion makes a lot of sense. You don’t need to be a total anti-conformist to find fulfillment. You don’t need to travel the world or become a yoga teacher.
Of course if you are dreadfully unhappy and unfulfilled, I’m not telling you to stay put and keep the status-quo. I’m just following Cal in his notion that you shouldn’t expect things to be easy and your dream to be achieved in an instant. Get to the bottom of things, and learn to love knowledge again. He refers to it as craftsmanship, slowly but surely perfecting your skill and putting in the effort for it every day.
when you make something your profession (for example, writing, counselling, teaching, alternative medicine, massage-therapy, etc), the people you work for, buy your products, read your works deserve your expertise and skill.
So, stop looking for what you are good at, and start looking for what you want to become good at, what you want to spend years perfecting.
Some interesting posts from his blog: