The Weekly Review

by Chris Bowler

In a similar vein to Cal Newport’s 99u talk, Brianna West makes the case that focusing on what you love is misguided. The problem at the heart of this issue?

People usually can’t differentiate what they really love and what they love the idea of.

And this leads to:

Premeditating what we think we’d love to do without actually being in the thick of it is the beginning of the problem, and having too much ego to scrap it and start over is the end.

She finishes the article by focusing on how one should look for ways to give. And that’s a great point, one worthy of its own focus. But I’d like to highlight one other aspect of this topic. Wiest makes the following statement before turning to the idea of what you have to give:

There is only finding a job that suits you enough that the work doesn’t feel excruciating. There is only finding what you are skilled at, and then learning to be thankful.

I’d suggest that is one way to approach it. But there is also the idea of working on what you're good at, then that thing becoming something you love. Or, as you get good at something, the passion grows. Through focus and time and effort (as Newport calls it, deliberate practice), you can grow to love certain tasks.

An example for myself is gardening. I hated spending time out there as a kid, helping my mom weed. Now, I’ll relish my lunch breaks when I can go out my back door and putter around, pulling weeds, getting my hands dirty, and cultivating food for our family.

We change over time, so there’s always a chance that what we start doing is what we end up wanting to do long term.