Mark Cuban just wrote a blog post, advising people to forget their passions and just invest more hours into whatever they doo:
I hear it all the time from people. “I’m passionate about it.” “I’m not going to quit, It’s my passion”. Or I hear it as advice to students and others “Follow your passion”.
What a bunch of BS. ”Follow Your Passion” is easily the worst advice you could ever give or get.
Why? Because everyone is passionate about something. Usually more than 1 thing. We are born with it. There are always going to be things we love to do. That we dream about doing. That we really really want to do with our lives. Those passions aren’t worth a nickel.
Instead, Mark says you should look at where you spend your time, because:
- When you work hard at something you become good at it.
- When you become good at doing something, you will enjoy it more.
That’s basically telling all the people working 80-hour weeks in soul-sucking jobs, that if they hate hate what they do, the solution is simply to put more hours into it.
Looking more closely at the two statements above, it’s clear to see that they’re both flat-out wrong. In fact:
- Plenty of people work looooong hours at jobs they are not very good at.
- I know some very successful, highly paid people who are stellar at what they do… but don’t particularly like it. Many people are good at what they do, yet don’t ultimately enjoy it, precisely because they have no passion for it.
I maintain (and the science backs me up on this) that if you choose (or create) a job which makes you happy, you are more likely to be successful at it.
Now, I’m not knocking effort. Effort is crucial and being happy at work does not mean your work days will always be fun, easy and effortless. Being happy at work is also about working really hard on tough challenges. Especially if those challenges are meaningful to you.
It’s really about finding the intersection of these three areas:
- Something you’re passionate about
- Something you’re good at
- Something people will pay you to do
Telling people to ignore their passions in this equation is common-place but misguided, because it simply leads people to slave away at jobs they ultimately don’t care about.