Let’s look at two, apparently conflicting, thoughts from two giants of business (sadly, neither of whom was ever nominated for the Miss Manners prize for social etiquette):
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”
— Steve Jobs (Stamford Commencement Address, 2005)
“Don’t follow your passion, follow your effort.”
— Mark Cuban (blogmaverick.com, 2012)
So who is right? Steve Jobs: “love what you do”? Or Mark Cuban, who says “don’t follow your passion”? (Actually he goes further, if you read the blog post: Cuban claims that “follow your passion” is easily the worst advice you could ever give or get.) It is kind of important to know, don’t you think?
Actually, I think they are both saying exactly the same thing - work with me here - and they are both basically right. Look closer. Jobs did not say “do what you love”. He said love what you do. Cuban says the same. Look at what you are prepared to put effort into, and do more of that; when you get good at something, you love it more.
Let me summarise the point I am making here. I agree: simply working out what you think you love the most and pursuing that, may not be your best option; because… the real acid test is, “are you willing to really work at this, all the way through to mastery?”
Here’s a personal example. I started playing the saxophone when I was 15; I loved, and still love, playing the saxophone. Jazz was my passion and I actually thought I would like to make a career out of playing the saxophone… except: I never quite had enough commitment to practice until I truly mastered that horn; nor indeed to get the help I needed, in order to understand what would make a career as a sax-player a real prospect. Forty years later (ouch) I am still playing most days, and actually I am pretty good. Maybe with some help, I could have made it, but the truth is I didn’t make the effort.
Where I think Cuban is wrong, and where Jobs more clearly understands the situation, is where he appears to assume that effort and passion don’t overlap, and that anyone can make the required effort in any field, if they choose to. (The subtitle of his book, “How to WIN at the Sport of Business” is “If I can do it, you can do it”.)
Where your hoozyu can help you, is that it gives you an objective reading of the fields of activity you are most drawn to (Interest), AND of the tasks you are most drawn to (Focus); it also tells you the kind of environment you will work best in (Need). That allows you to process possible future scenarios through the reality check of “will I stick at this, even when the going is tough?”
The point is not about whether you should be playing the saxophone or not; that’s just my example. It is about where your passion and commitment intersect; and what you are going to do about it.