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What To Do Instead of Following Your Passion

I’m going to get extremely personal for a minute. Ready?

One of my favorite things to do is put in my headphones, and do the dishes. Super embarrassing, I know, but it’s my thing. Get your own.

I put on an audiobook or a podcast, or sometimes a J.Cole jam session, get that lavender dish soap flowin’ and start scrubbing. Kels doesn’t get it, but she knows to leave me alone for my 20 minutes of solitude.

It’s my own form of meditation. Whereas sitting silently in a room, breathing deeply, gets me feeling restless and leaves me more frustrated than when I started, there’s something about dish soap and audio books that puts me at ease.

I feel in the moment and at peace. I feel clear minded, focused, and relaxed. 

The other day, during this “me time,” I was listening to an interview with entrepreneur Derek Sivers, and he said something that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately.

It’s the same theme that repeats itself in all of the biographies I read. It’s what made Warren Buffet a genius investor, Nick Saban and John Wooden elite coaches, Lil Wayne a rap powerhouse, and Sam Walton a retail legend.

For the first time ever, today’s generation is not only able to, but encouraged to follow a passion; to do what we love.

We can be and do anything we want. No longer do we have to become a carpenter just because our father carved and chipped wood.

But there’s a dark side to that.

So many people get stuck because they have no idea what they’re “passionate” about. And that’s the problem. We can do anything, but because we don’t feel that magical power of passion pulling us in any direction, we do nothing.

We default to Netflix and chill and live vicariously through Dewayne “The Rock” Johnson’s Instagram, and wonder why we’re not slowly walking away from explosions and making millions. 

This is where Sivers advice hit me. He said, it’s kind of like forming a good relationship. Rarely does a solid relationship form from passion. It usually starts as an interest. She’s kinda cute. He likes the same movies as me. She’s very nice. He wears awesome socks. Whatever.

Of course there are relationships that start with that fiery passion, but that typically fizzles out over time.

That’ why the best piece of advice I’ve ever gotten is to do what you like.

Over time we will begin to see a theme replay itself over and over in our lives.

Warren Buffet checked out a library book called 1001 Ways to Make Money when he was like 9-years old. John Wooden’s chosen profession was an English teacher, he just coached basketball on the side because he enjoyed it. Lil Wayne rapped because he thought it was cool, and the girls at school liked it. Sam Walton use to interview retail owners and write down every word on his yellow legal pad because it fascinated him. 

Over time you could say all these greats formed a passion around their work, but it began out of an interest. It something they would do whether they made millions or not. We all know what we’re interested in, and the more we do that, the more likely it will begin to form into a passion. 

When Warren Buffett speaks to twenty-somethings, he often tells them to either, “Do what you like, or work for someone you admire.” I love this advice. It’s simple, direct, and doesn’t leave my armpits sweaty from feeling so overwhelmed from all the things I “could” do in life.

Do what you need to do to live: bartend for rent, strip for sandwiches, be a barista to have a pint this weekend. But then engage more in what you like. That is the best advice I’ve ever received. 

So let me ask, what do you like? Don’t tell me what you’re passionate about. Just what you like. Tell me what you’d be doing whether you got paid for it or not. Let me know in the comments below.

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