Today All Groan Up is honored to welcome Justin Zoradi — a good friend whom I deeply respect. Justin is the Founder of These Numbers Have Faces, an international education nonprofit empowering young people in Africa to attend college, become leaders, and transform their countries forever. Through his writing, Justin helps people find the courage to do work that matters with lasting impact. Learn more at justinzoradi.com, or connect with him on Facebook and Twitter.
I’m just like you. Constantly searching, forever scanning, continually hunting for purpose in life.
But here’s a tip: Stop believing the secret is to just “follow your passions.” People will tell you that and you’ll believe them. But it’s not entirely true.
“If you really want to know where your destiny lies, look at where you apply your time.” Mark Cuban
We’ve made a mistake as a society in believing that passions are wonderful gifts only special people stumble upon. Like there is a “Vocation Santa” in the North Pole who randomly doles out law school to one child and a lump of coal to another.
I was reminded in a blog by Mark Cuban that your passions will undoubtedly change, grow, evolve, and mature. You’ll most likely have more than one. But the thing that doesn’t change is the amount of hours in the day. Because quite honestly, your passion isn’t enough.
Passion is a spark, a shot of caffeine, a potent but temporary dose of inspiration injected into your bloodstream.
The secret weapon to persistent dream-chasing is a combination of your passion, and an organized and detailed application of your time.
And the best part is, the more strategic you apply your time, the more passionate you’ll become.
You’ve probably heard of Malcolm Gladwell’s book ‘Outliers’ where he talks about the 10,000 hour rule. Essentially, that’s how long it takes to become a professional at something. He gives a great example about The Beatles playing all day long at these crappy bars for no money. They didn’t start out talented, but after playing for 10,000 hours they became really, really good. The Beatles were passionate about music no doubt, but what made them superstars was their relentless and organized application of their time.
Now I don’t want to preach a message that if you just work hard at something you will succeed. That’s not always true. But I want to bust the myth that your passion is the only thing you need to carry you through. Because that’s not true either.
There will definitely be times when you’re not passionate about your passion. But those are the times when you put your head down and put the time in.
Think of the thing you’re most passionate about. Then decide how many hours of the day you can devote to it. If you still can’t find enough time, you need to find a different thing to care about. Because the guilt of not putting time into the thing you love most, may very well be the worst guilt of all.
– Justin Zoradi