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I was listening to an old podcast the other day where Terry Gross was interviewing Stephen Colbert. He was talking about Jon Stewart’s early advice to him and Stewart said that to achieve great things, he’d need to “make passionate comedic choices rather than successful comedic choices."

This rings true in any industry, I think. A path to success can be laid out before you:

  • Go to college
  • Study hard
  • Get a good internship
  • Build your resume
  • Work hard
  • Climb the ladder
  • Buy a house
  • Be nice
  • Don’t rock the boat
  • Save money
  • Retire

For a lot of people, that is the successful choice. And if that’s you, saddle up and ride off into that sunset. I’m thrilled for you to travel a path you find that fits you.

But the passionate path is tough to predict:

  • Do something
  • Fail
  • Try something else
  • Learn a trade
  • Go to school
  • Be nice
  • Try that thing again (maybe you’ll be better)
  • Travel
  • Work hard
  • Go back to school
  • Call home
  • Buy a house (or don't)
  • Do something

Of course, the truth is that both can end at some version of success. But one may get you there without passion. And that is usually someone else's version of success. Before you make that choice, make sure you want that version, too.

How are you traveling?

Sam DavidsonComment