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What Are You Working Towards? Because You Better Know

The alternative to a passion-driven mindset

The passion-driven mindset can be contrasted with an alternative: a poise-like discipline and a sense of purpose.

The key is to know what you're actually working towards. Ask yourself what your strategy is.

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What Are You Working Towards? Because You Better Know

What Are You Working Towards? Because You Better Know

https://thoughtcatalog.com/ryan-holiday/2015/09/what-are-you-working-towards-because-you-better-know/

thoughtcatalog.com

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Key Ideas

Purpose, not passion

There is a famous saying that translates: "One jumps into the fray and then figures it out."

Usually, some version of this strategy is that people don't take the time to spot their landing, nor do they think about what they're jumping off.

The alternative to a passion-driven mindset

The passion-driven mindset can be contrasted with an alternative: a poise-like discipline and a sense of purpose.

The key is to know what you're actually working towards. Ask yourself what your strategy is.

Working aimlessly

Few people take the time to find out what is possible or have the courage to probe themselves. It's unpleasant, and they'd instead figure it out as they go.

  • They network but don't know what kind of contacts would be helpful.
  • They want to write a book, but don't want to take the time to ask what purpose it serves.
  • They talk about what they'd like to do but have no idea how to get there or if they will enjoy it.

Instead of moving closer to the answer, they are stuck in endless reacting and reaction.

Ask the big questions

You have to take the time to ask the big questions:

  • What is your big goal?
  • Why is it your goal?
  • How will you get there?
  • Why do you think it is the path to your goal?

Hard things in life are not achieved through simple effort. It's insight that illuminates the road and strategy that gets us there.

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Young Cézanne had rare endowments, but he couldn't draw. Cézanne required decades of practicing before he could master his ability.

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Prodigies like Picasso, who created a masterpiece at age twenty, tend to be "conceptual" in the sense that they start with a clear idea of where they want to go, and then accomplish it. Picasso once said that he could hardly understand the importance given to the word 'research.'

But late bloomers tend to work the other way around. Their goals are imprecise and their procedure experimental. They build their skills gradually throughout their careers, improving slowly over long periods.

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Imagine recording decision-makers' solutions to a competitive-strategy problem using four categories:

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A database of business executives, consultants, professors, and students was given the same unfamiliar pricing-strategy problem.

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In the past, couples were more likely to accommodate only one partner's job - mostly the man's. But today, couples have dual-incomes, are well educated, professionally minded, and pursuing careers in separate places. It is contributing to the rise in long-distance relationships.

The pressure to live apart for work is worse for younger couples who are still establishing careers.

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  • A partner lies to his in-laws about his wife's drug problem to protect her from embarrassment.
  • A sibling pays his brother's rent because he regularly loses his money to gambling.

It might be okay if it happened once, but if these "rescues" happen repeatedly, they don't get to learn from the cause-and-effect pattern of their behaviors.

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