Don’t Follow Your Passion, Follow Your Time

Justin Zoradi

I’m just like you. Constantly searching, forever scanning, continually hunting for purpose in life.

But here’s a tip:
Stop believing the secret is to just “follow your passions.” People will tell you that and you’ll believe them. But it’s not entirely true.

Because if you really want to know where your destiny lies, look at where you apply your time*

We’ve made a mistake as a society in believing that passions are wonderful gifts only special people stumble upon. Like there is a “Vocation Santa” in the North Pole who randomly doles out law school to one child and a lump of coal to another.

*Photo by Marc, Creative Commons

I was reminded in a blog by Mark Cuban that your passions will undoubtedly change, grow, evolve, and mature. You’ll most likely have more than one. But the thing that doesn’t change is the amount of hours in the day.

Because quite honestly, your passion isn’t enough. Passion is a spark, a shot of caffeine, a potent but temporary dose of inspiration injected into your bloodstream.

The secret weapon is a combination of your passion and an organized and detailed application of your time.

And the best part is, the more strategically you apply your time, the more passionate you’ll become.

You’ve probably heard of Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers where he talks about the 10,000 hour rule. Essentially, that’s how long it takes to become a professional at something.

He gives a great example about The Beatles playing all day long at these crappy bars for no money. They didn’t start out talented, but after playing for 10,000 hours they became really, really good. The Beatles were passionate about music no doubt, but what made them superstars was their relentless and organized application of their time.

Now I don’t want to preach a message that if you just work hard at something you will succeed. That’s not always true. But I want to bust the myth that your passion is the only thing you need to carry you through. Because that’s not true either.

There will definitely be times when you’re not passionate about your passion. But those are the times when you put your head down and put the work in.

Think of the thing you’re most passionate about. Then decide how many hours of the day you can devote to it. If you still can’t find enough time, you need to find a different thing to care about. Because the guilt of not doing the thing you love most, may very well be the worst guilt of all.

*This blog has been inspired and borrowed in some parts from Mark Cuban. Yes, that Mark Cuban.

Justin Zoradi

Justin Zoradi

This is a post by Justin Zoradi, one of the Storyline Contributors. Pick up a copy of his latest book, Doing Work That Matters, on his website and make sure to follow along on Twitter (@justinzoradi) for regular updates. To read more of his posts on the Storyline Blog, click here.