Passion is On The Map. It’s just not Located Where Most People Expect To Find It

Finance and accounting might just be my family’s go-to choice for a career path. Led by my father, it has also managed to enthrall both my sister and my brother.

As far as I was concerned, a finance and accounting-driven career path was the quintessential definition of boring. I was wrong.

A quick perusal of my current resume will quickly reveal a growing relationship with the finance and accounting world that quite frankly even caught me by surprise. And, I can attest to the fact that while my career path can be described in a number of ways, boring is not one of them.

Where on the Map is Passion Then?

Cal Newport, author of So Good They Can’t Ignore You, says passion is not a trait that exists in advance. He says passion comes with mastery and is cultivated over time.

This then makes passion, the thing you are working towards and not the thing that you require to start. What you think is passion at the start is simply interest.

My foray into the finance and accounting world was sparked around 2007 by an interest in  a particular sticking point that always befuddled my team and kept our clients calling in nonstop.

The Love for Your Work will Increase as Your Skill Increases

Have you ever wondered why people who are undeniably and unrelentingly passionate about something are also connoisseurs of that thing?

This is not a coincidence. The love for your work will increase as your skill increases.

As my interest in solving the above-noted issue increased so did my skill. As my skill increased so did my love for what I was doing. I wanted to take my learning to the next level and develop a deeper understanding. (Being recognized as the go-to person for problems of this nature didn’t hurt either.)

I realized that finance and accounting world were not as boring  as I had once thought. I just didn’t know them well enough.

Leverage is Not Limited to Money

Impact requires leverage. If you want to impact your life, you need leverage. Too many of us think leverage is limited to money.

The amount of money you need to impact your life, to the extent that you would like, for most people, is quite difficult to come across. Money, thankfully then, is not the only form of leverage.

You can leverage your skill and your talent to get the life that you want. To do that though your skill and talent need to be so good, that they can’t ignore you.

How does One Become So Good that They can’t Ignore You?

Newport says this is done by adopting a craftsman’s mindset. A mindset where the quality of what you do is the primary focus. A mindset that exposes itself to deliberate, strenuous and uncomfortable practice. Similar to that of an athlete, chess player or musician. 

This he says, will allow you to develop your skills into something rare and valuable. A rare and valuable skill – also known as career capital – will help set you apart, and can be leveraged to get you the type of life you want.

Translation – It’s not going to be easy but it’s most certainly going to be worth it.

My ‘Aha’ Moment

Nobody is born with passion. What we are all born with is interest and the ability to explore our interests and develop them into our passions.

If the “I don’t have any passion for it” excuse has been the reason why you have not moved from the starting line, then its time to find another excuse or better yet it’s time to stop looking for passion at the start and start paying attention to your interests…. or not. In this too the choice is also yours.

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