Advice More Useful Than “Follow Your Passion”

Thesis: “Do what you love” / “Follow your passion” is dangerous and destructive career advice.

We tend to hear it from (a) Highly successful people who (b) Have become successful doing what they love.

The problem is that we do NOT hear from people who have failed to become successful by doing what they love.

Particularly pernicious problem in tournament-style fields with a few big winners & lots of losers: media, athletics, startups.

Better career advice may be “Do what contributes” — focus on the beneficial value created for other people vs just one’s own ego.

People who contribute the most are often the most satisfied with what they do — and in fields with high renumeration, make the most $.

Perhaps difficult advice since requires focus on others vs oneself — perhaps bad fit with endemic narcissism in modern culture?

Requires delayed gratification — may toil for many years to get the payoff of contributing value to the world, vs short-term happiness.

– Marc Andreessen, via Business Insider


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