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Watch | Why ‘follow your passion’ is bad careers advice

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Author Cal Newport  professor of computer science at Georgetown University explains why he thinks the American (and arguably Western) idea that following your passion will bring you happiness and success in your career is a bad piece of advice. He argues we have no pre-existing passion. Instead, passion is found by first building a rare and valuable talent and using it to take control of your career path. In other words, be so good and work so hard that no one can ignore you.

It kind of aligns with the writer Neil Gaiman’s 3 secrets to success. It’s with reference to being a freelancer but can apply to all areas I think:

You get work however you get work, but people keep working in a freelance world (and more and more of today’s world is freelance), because their work is good, because they are easy to get along with and because they deliver the work on time. And you don’t even need all three! Two out of three is fine. People will tolerate how unpleasant you are if your work is good and you deliver it on time. People will forgive the lateness of your work if it is good and they like you. And you don’t have to be as good as everyone else if you’re on time and it’s always a pleasure to hear from you.

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