Pushing, Pulling and Growth

Dean Bohkhari wrote an interesting piece of article titled 30 life lessons learned in 30 years. The article is overall interesting and puts forward some great lessons. Out of those, I am reproducing one such lesson for the benefit of my readers because this is something that is so easy to overlook but so important for a long journey. In his words,


You can only “push yourself” for so long before your body, mind, and spirit toss their hands in the air and say, “F-this, I’m out.” When you keeping pushing yourself to do something, it feels like something you have to do. But when you’re pulled by something, it feels like something you get to do. Me? I’m pulled by my obsession with learning about personal development, success, and motivation — and then sharing what I learn to inspire people around the world to live up to their highest potential on a daily basis. This is one of the things in life that juices me up and gives me purpose.

One concept that integrates with this lesson is that not all passions create a successful career in Follow your Passion mantra in the self development hype. Two ingredients need to be present for a successful development in any profession.

  1. Passion
  2. Business/growth opportunity

A successful career lies on the intersection of the above two, as illustrated in the figure above.

Some people are so passionate about something that is not going to generate any useful output. For example, regardless of how passionate a person is about cricket or football, he is she is not going to be a professional in these sports (unless they are the very best in their country). Rest have to look for another passion of theirs. It is very important to avoid this fallacy in isolation.

On the other hand, some people work so hard at something they don’t like much. Here, they have to push themselves consistently but since this is not the passion that wakes them up at 4am, it is difficult to achieve the top level of success. The thing about passion is that it keeps you pulling and hence the steady movement is always there.

I end this post admitting that exceptions are always there. For example, many have made bucketloads of money by working crazy hours on the Wall Street. For most, it was something they never liked but still came out of it clean and rich. Whether that can be called a good life is open to interpretation.

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