Is Following Your Passion Bad Advice?

I started listening to a new audiobook, So Good They Can’t Ignore You by Cal Newport. I’ve only gone through the first few chapters so far. I’m hesitant to praise or hate the book yet. I was interested in the book because the usual advice is to follow your passion which Cal is debunking. He argues that passion is created after gaining experience and mastery level skill in a career.

I’m really ambivalent on this issue because I’ve been on both sides of the argument. On one hand, I see a lot of smart kids pushed into becoming lawyers and doctors, and I don’t think they will ever feel passionate about their field. On the other hand,  a lot of people fall in love with the dream of a career or lifestyle without any experience in it and end up settling for a more realistic career or just plain horrible job. The world can only feed so many wanna-be artists and writers.

I don’t know. I’m really conflicted here. I’ll write up a fuller review once I’m done the book.

One positive is that I found Road Trip Nation from the book. Four people who traveled in a RV and transformed it into a PBS show and business.


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