Screw Finding Your Passion

Remember back when you were a kid? You would just do things. You never thought to yourself, “What are the relative merits of learning baseball versus football?” You just ran around the playground and played baseball and football. You built sand castles and played tag and asked silly questions and looked for bugs and dug up grass and pretended you were a sewer monster.

Nobody told you to do it, you just did it. You were led merely by your curiosity and excitement.

Wentworth, N., & Witryol, S. L. (2003). Curiosity, exploration, and novelty-seeking. In Well-being: Positive development across the life course (pp. 281–294). Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers.

A study has found that college students are more motivated to learn if their teacher manages to excite them through his/her enthusiasm. See: Patrick, B. C., Hisley, J., & Kempler, T. (2000). “What’s Everybody so Excited about?”: The Effects of Teacher Enthusiasm on Student Intrinsic Motivation and Vitality. The Journal of Experimental Education, 68(3), 217–236.

And the beautiful thing was, if you hated baseball, you just stopped playing it. There was no guilt involved. There was no arguing or debate. You either liked …