Study Hacks Blog Decoding Patterns of Success

A Major Newspaper Wants Your Thoughts On Passion

January 20th, 2012 · 8 comments

A reporter from a major national newspaper is looking to interview people about their experiences with “passion.”

In more detail, he’s looking for the following two types of people:

  1. Those who set out to follow their passion and were disappointed.
  2. Those who discovered the more complicated reality of how people actually end up loving what you do (for example…)

If either (or both) describes you, and you’re interested in being interviewed for a major national newspaper, e-mail me a brief summary of your story at author [at] calnewport.com and put “[Interview]” in the subject line. (I’m interested in reading your stories as well.)

As a side note, it’s nice to see that the skepticism about passion that we’ve expressed for years here on Study Hacks is starting to gain traction…

8 thoughts on “A Major Newspaper Wants Your Thoughts On Passion

  1. Jack Daniels says:

    Pardon me for commenting out of context. But, do you have a twitter account? I absolutely love your blog. Keep up the amazing work.

  2. Ryan says:

    The linked article was great. Dang it…my dad might be sort of right, lol.

  3. FM says:

    Why are only these two types of people allowed to write stories? What about those of us who followed our passions and, thus far, have succeeded? I imagine I’m quite a bit older than many of the readers here, and my own experience aligns most closely with the third option. I would imagine most readers here haven’t lived long enough to definitively conclude that they either failed or that their alternative route succeeded.

    Other than that: Cal, this is a great blog.

  4. Study Hacks says:
    But, do you have a twitter account?

    No.

    Dang it…my dad might be sort of right, lol.

    That doesn’t mean you have to admit it to him…

    What about those of us who followed our passions and, thus far, have succeeded?

    That story has been told again, and again, and again, and again…

  5. c says:

    I guess he isn’t looking for people who have had a passion since they were 11 years old, ended up following that passion, and ended up doing quite well and being very happy.

  6. Peter says:

    On a side note, I hope the journalist has at least one ‘passion success story’ covered. Otherwise the article can be misguiding for many readers. Even if the story has been told…

  7. I’m not an expert in helping people discover their passion, but I know a little about it. First, there is a huge difference between following something that you THINK is your passion, versus something that you have done thorough exploration and experimenting with to KNOW that it is. (Most of the examples in the linked article seem to be of people that were uninformed or unrealistic about their expectations.) Second, not everyone has or will develop a SINGLE passion…or at least not feel it to the same degree. People with the make-up of a “generalist,” for example, tend to prefer variety and can get satisfaction from a lot of different tasks and interactions. Specialists, on the other hand, tend to prefer going very deep in in an area where they can become a subject matter expert. The discovery process for these two types, and the types of things they derive great satisfaction from will be very different.

  8. Steve Bohler says:

    As a career counselor, I have seen situations where the “career craftsman” approach has worked for people. But I’ve also seen many a situation where a person has spent years developing an valuable expertise and calling the shots, only to finally throw in the towel due to boredom, burnout, and a sense that “there must be something more meaningful out there.”

    And the comment by Scott is very true. One of the tests I have people go through determines whether a person is, by nature, a generalist or a specialist. Specialists only make up about 25% of the population, but they make up about 85% of my career change clients. Specialists have more of a need to have a strong interest in the subject of their work. Generalists don’t have a natural tendency to want to develop a deep expertise.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *