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Diary

Passion is for fruits pt.2

This week, I read a book called "So good they can't ignore" by Cal Newport. This is a book about passion, especially how misunderstood it is. The author tries to debunk the passion hypothesis - that you need to have a very clear passion/goal in mind and unless you have one, you are living your life wrong (or it seems to be a general understanding).

A lot of people like me have been so misguided by the media, books and online posts. We are assumed to have passion at a very early age. And we also tend to think visionaries and billionaires are at their place because they knew what they wanted to do with their life at the very early stage of their lives. But how many people actually know that Steve jobs didn't set out to make apple upon his graduation from Reed College where he studied something that was totally different than engineering (think it was art history or something like that).

Instead, he was able to start his career and company by starting small. He started developing career capital - skills that could be commoditized/monetized in return from other people. He was very interested in computers outside his normal academic life. And after he graduated, he kept on developing that skill set. Eventually, an opportunity turned out to be very fortunate, and he was able to ride on that momentum because he had what was required to start a new company called Apple.

Cal's main points can be summarised as this one sentence: working right triumphs right work. You need to hone your skills in one field, which will branch out to others, and this is what leads people to right opportunities. Without this, the practice/career isn't sustainable and people fail eventually. 

There are more detailed explanations he makes throughout the book, but that's the gist of it. Nobody starts out something grand and successful with a very clear picture of what he's about to do. Instead, it's a continuous effort and morphs that shape what successful businesses are today.

Starting out, I was an impression that satellite industry wasn't the ONE that I wanted to do. And that I'm not performing as much as I wish because of that. But I realized that I need to fix my attitude first. It's not just about "Suck it up kid. Welcome to the adult world." But it's more of tweaking my fundamentals, for anything.

This is why I think starting a volunteering group is a nice excercise. It'll expose me to different opportunities and challenges which will only improve my skill set. Also, I think this opportunity will serve me well when I eventually start a new company - not something that comes out of the blue, but a continued failed effort that's always improving.

I really like this author. He's the guy that I can't help but think "Oh this guy is real. He knows the answers to questions that I've always had". I've read other books from this guy and hopefully will write about this... Anyways, it's Sunday night and I wish I could take lessons I learned from reading this book to practice from this exciting... Mon...Day... 

Taeyang You