October 21, 2019

“Pick something and stick with it”.

I get seduced by this idea every so often, it seems like an obvious ingredient for next-level success. But I suspect it might be bullshit advice, the way that “find your passion” is obvious sounding advice that is actually bullshit. Cal Newport generously poured time and energy into writing two books that make it clear that finding your passion is for dummies. And he wrote those books while maintaining a career as a computer science professor at Georgetown.

I don't think it's smart to avoid discipline or hard work. I wouldn't advocate being shallow and schizophrenic in knowledge and skills. But I'm also not sure it's smart to make long-term plans like “X is my business” and then enslave yourself to X and force yourself to work on it when your gut tells you something else would be more fulfilling and productive.

Maybe it just comes down to a preference for hyper-specialist or renaissance man, but it might also be the case that one of those two strategies actually leads to more satisfaction and productivity than the other.


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