Where Passion Meets Everyday Life (The Passion Paradox by Brad Stulberg + Steve Magness)

Jul 16, 2019

3 minutes
The Passion Paradox by Brad Stulberg + Steve Magness

As an entrepreneur for 15 years, I’ve been told approximately 14,835 times that the key to success is to “follow your passion.”

Guess what? No matter how many times I hear or read that advice, it has NEVER been helpful.

While there are plenty of voices telling you to find your passion, there are hardly any telling you how to be passionate. The seemingly straight line to success, happiness, and fulfillment that passion promises is almost always a more complicated route littered with potential wrong turns.

I’ve often wondered where the advice came from + how someone following their passion managed to stay motivated when things got difficult or, *gasp*, boring?

Apparently, The Passion Paradox is the book that I’ve been looking for to answer just about every question I’ve ever had about living a passionate life.

Much like James Clear, authors Brad Stulberg + Steve Magness do a fantastic job of researching the topic extensively, and then summarizing their findings + personal insights in easily digestible and downright useful chapters that flow progressively from one to the next.

Along with geeking out about the origin + winding history of the word “passion” and dopamine’s connection to fueling passion, my favorite part of the book was the 6 aspects of embracing + living with a “mastery mind-set.”

Individuals who are on the path of mastery not only accomplish great things, but do so in a healthy and sustainable manner. They exude a Zen-like aura, are resistant to burnout, and produce work that is of a special kind of quality – a quality that is born out of love. And yet perhaps their greatest accomplishment is an even more cherished one: continual growth and development, a fulfilling life. Just about every great performer who embodies and sustains the best kind of passion also adheres to what we call the mastery mind-set. The good news is that this mind-set and all its benefits are available to anyone who is willing to put in the work necessary to adopt it.

All 6 of the aspects of the mastery mind-set ring painfully true for me – as someone who has sought + attempted to follow her passion for nearly 2 decades, and failed miserably numerous times along the way (if you want to know what they all are + how to implement them, read the book – it’s worth it for the chapter alone).

Much like James Clear’s Atomic Habits is the modern manual for habits, The Passion Paradox is the modern manual for developing the mindset necessary to live a truly fulfilling life.

I think the two books are a spectacular pair + I wish I had read them in high school, but I’m grateful that I’ve read them now because my life will never be the same (in the most positive way possible).

No different than a close relationship with anyone else, you need to work at having a close relationship with yourself.

Like habits, following/living your passion is as much about your choices as it is about your depth of self-awareness. It all comes back to that: quieting the surrounding noise + going inward – now, more than ever.

Mindlessly living with a passion can be extremely harmful and destructive. Mindfully living with a passion can be the key to a life well lived.

(Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.)

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