The 5-step formula for developing a passion

A buddy and I were discussing our passions yesterday. Music and coding for him. Coaching and chess for me.

To mirror Cal Newport’s thesis in So Good They Can’t Ignore You, we both agreed that we didn’t begin to feel passionate until we got really good at what we were doing.

Many people think they have to have innate talent or aptitude for something for it to be their ‘thing.’ That’s nonsense.

My friend told me it took him two years to develop a love for programming. It was supposed to be a means to an end for him. He got good enough to land a well-paying job to support himself and his interests. Once he got good enough to quickly put pieces together and solve interesting problems, it became more than just a 9 to 5; it became exciting.

On a smaller scale, I’ve been interested in chess for the past year or so. Within the past month, however, I’ve experienced a serious uptick in my skill level. This has correlated to a spike in my interest. What was once a hobby is now a passion.

I’ve known many people who have sadly stated they are unsure of what they’re passionate about. This is tough, but there is a formula to solve this problem:

1) Try a shit ton of things→

2) Ditch the things that feel like pulling teeth→

3) Practice the thing(s) you like most every week→

4) Get really fucking good at it→

5) Boom. You now have a passion.

It’s not easy and it doesn’t happen quickly, but it is simple.

Keep going.