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The Framework for Finding Your Passion

This article was based on the TEDxGoldenGatePark Talk, “How to Find and Do Work You Love,” by Scott Dinsmore


How to find and do work you love | Scott Dinsmore | TEDxGoldenGatePark (2D)


The Best and Worst Career Advice

Scott Dinsmore begins his Ted Talk by sharing the worst career advice he ever received.  He was considering a new job when a friend told him that it did not matter if he liked the work he was doing.  What was important was building up his resume.

Shortly after starting, he realised he was miserable.  He had also noticed that his job role was quickly becoming automated. He was torn between leaving to find something he enjoyed or heeding the advice to build his resume.  That’s when he read a quote from Warren Buffett that said, “Taking jobs to build up your resume is the same as saving up sex for old age.”


Why are You Doing What You’re Doing?

Soon after, he left his job and began a quest to find a career that would have an impact.  As he started to research what that would look like, he found out that he wasn’t alone. It turns out over 80% of people do not enjoy their work.

Now Dinsmore decided he wanted to know what sets these people apart.  Why were so many people leading lives of quiet desperation?  How did the other 20% become inspired to find world-changing work?

He began intensive research, reading over 300 books about career and purpose.  He also interviewed people about their career choices.  The question he asked was, “Why are you doing the work you’re doing?”  The most common answer was, “Well, because somebody told me I’m supposed to.”


Three-Part Framework

Dinsmore realised that many of these people who were unhappy with their careers were simply doing what someone else had told them to do. The more time he spent interviewing unhappy people, the more he wanted to solve this problem. He also noticed that the happy people had a common framework of three simple things that guided their career paths.

The first part of this passionate work framework is becoming a self-expert and understanding yourself. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, you’re never going to find it. People need to take responsibility for identifying and navigating their own framework.  This first step is discovering our unique strengths. What is it that you would love to do whether you were getting paid or not?


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The second step is determining our values as a hierarchy for making decisions. We have to know what is important in our lives and how that impacts the choices we make. Is it that you care about people, your family, or your health? Are you looking for achievements and success?


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The final part of the framework is our experiences. We are constantly learning. We assimilate what went right and what went wrong and apply it to the rest of our lives.  Dinsmore recommends keeping a journal about what inspires you.


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The Compass to Your Passion

Over time, this framework becomes a repository of information that can be applied to our lives, creating a more passionate and impactful existence. The framework helps us define success and what it means to us personally. This allows us to systematically grow our strengths and values, developing who we are as individuals.  The three-part framework acts as a compass to help us find our passion, pursue it, and make an impact with it.


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It may seem impossible to follow your passion, but everything was impossible before the first person succeeded. The ideas that we have in our heads that we think are impossible are often just milestones waiting to be accomplished if we can push the limits. You can make small incremental pushes of what you believe is possible. The best way to do this is to surround yourself with like-minded people.

In terms of the three pillars, they all have one thing in common more than anything else. They are completely within our control. No one can keep you from learning about yourself. No one can prevent you from pushing your limits.  No one can stop you from surrounding yourself with inspiring people. The only thing that limits possibility is imagination. Discover your passion and live it, not just for you, but for everybody around you, because that is how we can change the world.


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