You can pursue your passion and still work for someone else

Passion isn’t an input, it’s an output

One of the most valuable commodities on earth is motivation. Pursuing our potential is what makes us feel alive. The phrase “find your passion” is misleading because passion is the output of doing doing meaningful work, not the other way around.

You can work for someone else and still be pursuing your passion

Some believe the spark for motivation has to come from within. They say if we are working for someone else, it cannot possibly be our passion. But that’s not true. Everyone is passionate about something and great leaders are experts in unlocking the unrealized motivation within an individual.

The truth is, working for someone else can be the easiest way to find your passion, if you are open to it.

Martin Luther King’s Dream

Martin Luther King had a dream, but it wasn’t just his dream. Millions of Americans had the same dream. When King put that dream into words, he ignited the latent passion in people around the world. By supporting King, they were able to realize their dreams. It’s wasn’t just King’s vision, each person who contributed owned a piece of that dream.

Great Leaders don’t create vision, they embody the vision of their followers

The best leaders don’t come up with a vision in a vacuum. The strongest vision is the one that comes from their followers.

When you’re working for yourself, it’s your vision. When you have followers, it’s their vision.

You now have the difficult, selfless, stressful, but ultimately rewarding pursuit of helping others realize a shared dream together, where they own an equal or larger piece of the vision.

Aside: Heroes and Villains

Heroes and villains exist as proxies for competing visions. It is easier for a large group of people to rally behind a vision if it is embodied by a single person.

Likewise, the vision holder for the other side’s competing point of view’s leader is often branded as a villain. This is done to make the goal of winning more tractable. It’s easier for the average person to imagine defeating a single person, than to fight against something more amorphous like a competing point of view.

It’s important to remember when a villain is defeated, that does not mean the villain’s followers will automatically flip over to support the hero. Instead, they must be won over individually, over time, with great effort. Greater than the effort it took to defeat the villain in the first place.

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