“Do work you’re passionate about” is a common mantra in the workplace.
And it’s holding people back from their best work.
Passion is a side-effect of mastery (h.t. Cal Newport), not a prerequisite. By focusing on a passion, we become limited only by the experiences we happen to have had already.
A child that got good at drawing will want to draw when he grows up. But what if he’s an even better speaker, or developer, or writer?
By exploring and refining craft, we often experience more passion for that craft as we progress. Passion isn’t the point, though: craftsmanship is the point.
Instead of “Do work you’re passionate about”, we should become advocates of “Refine your craft and try new things” – the results could be more fulfilling than you know.