Why You’ll Fail to Have a Great Career: Passion

Larry Smith, an economics professor at the University of Waterloo, tells a TED audience why they’ll fail to have a great career. It’s a funny and engaging talk. And it’s right.

Professor Smith gives a number of reasons why you won’t succeed. You might fail. You might look ridiculous. Others might criticize you because they don’t understand your ideas, or because you might not make any money. Or, or, or.

He warns us that there’s no such thing as a “good” career any more. There’s only great and interesting things to do or lowest-common-denominator jobs and careers. We’ve created a dumbbell job portfolio, where there’s no room for the middle, those average jobs for average people. Either you have a shot (minimal, even at that) of being in a career where you can join the 1% or you work at Starbucks. Everything else has either been outsourced to China–the cloud services provider for labor of all types–or soon will be.

However, the main reason you’ll fail is a lack of passion. It’s passion, as Professor Smith points out, that helps you expand your talent to the greatest degree. Not just “interest.”

The saddest thing that’s ever said and the thing that people over 80 regret the most?

If only I had…

Great career guidance.

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