Leadership with heart, mind, and soul

Go Beyond the Tools to Find Your Passion

Added on by Sam Davidson.

You're not passionate about social media. You're not passionate about entrepreneurship. You're not passionate about nonprofits, and you're not passionate about making money. All of these things are mere tools that you use to live out a passion. Saying you're passionate about these things is like a carpenter saying he's passionate about his hammer. He may prefer his hammer to his screwdriver, but what he truly loves is building something.

Social media is a tool that a person who's passionate about telling stories uses.

Entrepreneurship is just a tool used by someone who is passionate about making new things or awesome things or who wants to share an idea that matters.

People passionate about helping others may use the nonprofit sector and structure to do that.

When I ask people what they're passionate about and they start listing tools, I stop them and ask them to get to the core of what they love and who they are. One way to correct ourselves when we start listing tools as passions is to ask ourselves what we'd be passionate about if it were 1972 - 40 years ago.

Back then, you couldn't be passionate about social media or online marketing or computers or Apple. But you could be passionate about storytelling or community building or difference making.

Here's a list of passions that transcend time. I bet you get excited about a few of them:

  • Helping people
  • Communicating
  • Sharing ideas
  • Family
  • Relationships
  • Navigating change
  • Solving problems
  • Good design
  • Innovation

Any of these things could build a great career for you for a very long time. Understanding that the available tools will change over time to help you articulate these passions means you'll be flexible in an ever-changing world of work.

Don't go praising the tools. Use them. That's what they're there for.

What would you add?

What's your passion that transcends time?

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