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The Intersection Between Passion and Talent

I think, when we were all children, we couldn’t quite differentiate between our passions and our asperations. You assume that, because you enjoy reading books. for example, that you’re going to grow up to be an best selling fiction author. But maybe that’s not the direction your life takes (and in fact, it almost always isn’t). Maybe you ended up a doctor or a business major or something. It’s a bit of a sad reality, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be. Just because you’re not explicitly skilled in the most obvious facets of your passions doesn’t mean you can’t work in a field related to them.

Picture this: every skill creates a sort of sliding scale, and on that scale is various professions that utilize that skill. On a second scale, you have your passion, and on that one is the various facets of that passion. Your job is to find the point at which these two scales intersect. Using the fiction example from before, where would a business major intersect with fiction storytelling? Maybe you can’t write a book yourself, but you can still get into the industry. Sign on with a publishing company, join their marketing department. Your passion for good books combined with your trained skill as a business major makes you uniquely qualified for such a position.

There are, unfortunately, talents and passions that don’t intersect so cleanly. If you’re a doctor, for instance, there aren’t really any notable footholds for you in the fiction industry, aside from maybe being a consultant. But if you don’t have the skill right then and there, then learn it! A family member of mine is a doctor, no formal writing training, but over the course of many years, he gradually chipped away at writing a novel in his spare time, and sure enough, it got published! Maybe he’s not a best seller, but he got his foot in the door under his own power.

Don’t assume that just because you didn’t grow up to embody your passions that that means you’re locked out of that career forever. There are always opportunities, whether they arise from finding that intersecting point, or breaking away and forging your own path.

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