Passion and Defining Yourself

In my own search for purpose, I found these. They inspired me and made me think. I hope they do the same for you. I included references and my notes of what I consider their salient points.

Stop Searching for Your Passion

Terri Trespicio, TEDxKC, Sep 14, 2015

My notes from her address:

A common worry: “We don’t know what we’re passionate about. We don’t know what we’re supposed to do.”

Passion is not a plan, it’s a feeling, and feelings change.

Passion is the sparks that ignite when you start rubbing two sticks together.

You don’t create your life first and then live it, you create it by living it.

Scott Adams, writer and author of the Dilbert comic strip, says he failed his way to success. “Success fuels passion more than passion fuels success.” (See the next section.)

People want this stuff – they’re willing to pay for it.

Passion is giving the full force of you attention and energy to whatever’s right in front of you.

The most fulfilling relationships, the most fulfilling careers are those that still have the power to surprise you.

Be useful, be generous. People will thank you for it and hug you and pay you for it. And that’s where passion is, where your energy and effort meets someone else’s need.

Just start doing. Because to live a life full of meaning and value, you don’t follow your passion, your passion follows you.

How to Fail Your Way to Success


‘Dilbert’ Creator Scott Adams, US News and Word Report, 12 Dec 2013

Some excerpts:

Success causes passion more than passion causes success.

Passion might be the least useful predictor of success. And in the worst case, passion keeps you from bailing out of a doomed venture at the right time.

So forget passion. You need a system that moves you from a place with bad odds to a place with better odds. For example, you don’t need to be passionate about going to college, but a college degree greatly improves your odds of career success.

If you combine several “good enough” skills, it can make you surprisingly valuable. In my case, I’m not a world-class artist or writer. I’m a mediocre businessman, and I’m often not the funniest person in the room. But the combination of those “good enough” skills was sufficient to create “Dilbert.”

On a smaller scale, learning a second language or honing your public speaking skills to “good enough” can make you the obvious choice to manage folks who have fewer skills.

How Do You Define Yourself?

Lizzie Velasquez, TEDxAustinWomen, Jan 16, 2014

The entire talk is eye-opening, emotional, and inspirational. Her message applies universally. I only included two quotes:

Brave starts here.

I’m going to let my goals and my success and my accomplishments be the things that define me.