Hey 20s And 30s! This Is What You Should Pursue Instead Of Your Passion

Hey 20s And 30s! This Is What You Should Pursue Instead Of Your Passion

My family used to spend a lot of time in the mountain villages of Boone and Blowing Rock when I lived in North Carolina. No matter what we were doing, we were going to witness disproportionate numbers of Volvos with quirky bumper stickers reading “Follow your passion!” and “If it’s not enjoyable, why do it?” You are familiar with the kind.

When we are reminded of this, we do not “lose the plot” of life. Of course; it’s easy to get distracted by what we believe we should be doing, and we often fail to accomplish what we truly like. It might be that those happy messages are just too saccharine.

The Classic Slogan “Follow Your Passion”…

The conventional counsel, “Do what you love,” is similar to “Be happy.” Of course, when it comes to finding something to do with your time and effort, enthusiasm sounds fantastic. For all intents and purposes, most people work an average of 90,000 hours over their lives. Your whole life, around one-third of it, will be dedicated to studying and working hard. If this time was spent doing something you enjoy, it would be great.

To some extent, “Follow your passion!” is far too frivolous to be of much practical value. This particular piece of advice causes people to suffer when they are unable to discover a career that truly compliments their talents and makes them happy; furthermore, passions might be fickle.

…may be wrong

I have studied and written on people’s career choices and career achievement for the past 25 years as a professor of organizational behavior at London Business School. My bumper sticker career advice is “Follow your blisters.”


If something chafes you yet you keep coming back for more, then you could have a blister. I like the word because it conveys the idea of tenacity and the act of pushing through even unpleasant chores. When I read “Follow your blisters,” I’m wondering “What type of work are you returning to again and again even when you don’t achieve immediately, when progress seems to be taking too long, or when you lose hope?”

Writing is something I really like. Academic, empirical papers that I publish in scholarly publications, of which I sometimes write, are typical. I write books about social science when I’m in the mood for that kind of book. Sometimes, my work will take the form of an article like this one. I know I still have to rewrite and edit a lot and still often get rejected, but it bothers me that I’m not any better at writing yet. It is difficult since I have a lot more to learn, but it is also rather attractive because of that. Even when I have other obligations, the lure of writing draws me back. Another part of me appreciates how much still remains to be discovered about it.

As such, if you are seeking a professional path that will be personally meaningful to you, instead of looking for “passion,” you should also focus on tasks that you return to regardless of their relative difficulty.

Martin Seligman asks, “As a youngster, what things did you already like doing and that you continue to enjoy doing now?” When considering what you like doing the most, bear in mind that it may not be what you like doing the most, and also, it may not be the most fun every time. It’s something I want to do perfectly because I care about it. Whether it takes a long time and a lot of practice is irrelevant. After others have gone to sleep, am I awake or asleep?

Related: Why Sleep Is Better Than Work

While it’s not because the project is due the next day, I want to make a bit more progress because it is essential to me. Does that just happen every other day and night, but consistently? There are things on your “To Do” list that you never have to worry about. Even if you may have to remind yourself to study your social media data, other individuals frequently find themselves compelled to break the code on what is successful. Even if you see that others fear making speeches to present in front of a class, you should realize that you have an active role in preparing your speeches. Be on the lookout for this. Keep an eye out, too, for all the things you need to encourage yourself to finish.

It is difficult for me to avoid working on this essay, even now, late at night when everyone else in the house is asleep (and even then I wait until the very last minute). We’ll constantly be asked to do the things that don’t take much effort or are things we may like doing. They are often less fulfilling than the things we will have a great time doing.

“Follow your blisters” means that you will return to this place several times and each time you do, you progress through the blister stage to hardened skin. Through using and practicing, you will be “marked.” Then, you will become highly skilled. When you perform an activity more intensively than other people, you will develop your own style – you acquire some individual characteristics (this is wear and tear), and become distinctive, while also being a little off-balance.

“Wabi-sabi” is a Japanese term for beauty caused by the beauty of uniqueness and imperfection. And yes, you can build it for your own self.

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