I see a lot of articles these days saying you shouldn’t do what you love, and that you should do what the world needs / what you’re good at instead. They say that it’s more practical to go where your skills are – to think about what you’re good at, that the world would value and pay you for.
one of the most common arguments i see against the idea of doing what you love is that doing what you love may not be practical. and the common recommendation is that instead of pursuing your passions, you should start off going where your skills are – to think about what you’re good at that the world would value and pay you for.
But here’s the thing. The two aren’t mutually exclusive. 20 years ago, perhaps. But the world has changed, and so have the opportunities.
The internet has changed the equation for doing what you love.
Before the internet, you had to start off where your skills were. You were mostly limited to working with people within your city. So, you had to figure out how to fit the needs of those people.
The internet has caused 2 big changes, though.
Firstly, it’s made it easier than ever to improve your skills. “What you’re good at” is more fluid than it’s ever been. There are online courses on every subject, from card magic to sales to comedy. Whatever it is you’re passionate about, there are more opportunities than ever to get good at it. And if you’re truly passionate about something, you’d want to get good at it.
Secondly, and more importantly, you’re not longer limited to geographical restrictions. You can now work with almost anyone in the world. This means that you have a much wider range of needs you can solve. And no matter what your passion is, there are probably some people, somewhere in the world, who have needs that your passion fits.
When there’s an unlimited range of needs you can fulfill, you don’t have to start from the need. You can start from what lights your fire – and find the people with needs that your fire can solve.
In today’s world, the question isn’t whether you should do what you love or do what you’re good at that the world needs. The question now is: what are you passionate enough about, that you’ll 1) push yourself to become great at, and 2) connect with the people who need it.