Musings on Effort and Passion

I just came across this post/article that contrasts 2 positions — passion results in effort, and effort increases your passion — and shows how they’re interrelated. The part about effort resulting in passion (or more likely: sustained effort -> mastery -> motivation) resonates currently, especially since sustained effort is not always easy when things feel difficult or change too often. Things changing often disrupts our ability to learn, I think, because we accrete knowledge only when we can incorporate it into the knowledge structures that we’ve already built. Being in this pandemic still means avenues for people connection and mentorship are harder to come by, so it removes opportunities to make those mental connections in our mind that speed up our knowledge, and in turn, successively, our mastery, our autonomy, our drive, and our passion. As insightful and timeless as essays from Paul Graham about how to do what you love and Steve Jobs’ commencement speech are, they start with a premise of passion and don’t really mention the gritty complement of hard work. Bill Burr’s bit is still hilarious, where he questions Jobs as “Nerd Jesus”. And the news yesterday of Roy Williams retiring as UNC basketball’s coach touched on lots of issues, but one issue is the change of an environment to one where there is less emphasis on the personal relationships and player development, especially if self-development requires a high level of commitment and overcoming adversity.

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