TED Talk 3 – Why you will fail to have a great career – Larry Smith

I have included the relevant parts of his highly blunt  and inspiring speech which forces you to do some soul-searching.

I only want to talk to those of you who want a great career.  I know some of you have already decided  you want a good career.  Those trying to have good careers are going to fail,  because, really, good jobs are now disappearing. There are great jobs and great careers, and then there are the high-workload, high-stress, bloodsucking, soul-destroying kinds of jobs, and practically nothing in between. I’m going to talk about those looking for great jobs, great careers, and why you’re going to, why you’re going to fail. First reason is that no matter how many times people tell you, “If you want a great career, you have to pursue your passion, you have to pursue your dreams, you have to pursue,the greatest fascination in your life,” you hear it again and again and then you decide not to do it. I’m not quite sure why you decide not to do it. You’re too lazy to do it. It’s too hard. You’re afraid if you look for your passion and don’t find it, you’ll feel like you’re an idiot.

So, for example, one of your great excuses is, “Well, great careers are really and truly, for most people, just a matter of luck, so I’m going to stand around, I’m going to try to be lucky, and if I’m lucky, I’ll have a great career. If not, I’ll have a good career.” But a good career is an impossibility, so that’s not going to work. But a good career is an impossibility, so that’s not going to work. Then, your other excuse is, “Yes, there are special people who pursue their passions, but they are geniuses. They are Steven J. I’m not a genius. ”

And then, of course, another excuse: “Well, I would do this, I would do this, but, but, well, after all, I’m not weird. Everybody knows that people who pursue their passions are somewhat obsessive. A little strange? Mm? Mm? Okay? You know, a fine line between madness and genius. I’m not weird. I’ve read Steven J.’s biography. Oh my goodness. I am not that person. I am nice. I am normal. I’m a nice, normal person, and nice, normal people   don’t have passion.

But I still want a great career. Mommy and Daddy told me that if I worked hard,  I’d have a good career. So, if you work hard and have a good career, if you work really, really, really hard, you’ll have a great career. Doesn’t that, like,  mathematically make sense?”

Passion is your greatest love.  Passion is the thing that will help you create  the highest expression of your talent. Passion, interest — it’s not the same thing. What you want, what you want, what you want, is passion. It is beyond interest. You need 20 interests, and then one of them, one of them might grab you, one of them might engage you more than anything else, and then you may have found your greatest love in comparison to all the other things that interest you, and that’s what passion is.

You must look for alternatives  so that you find your destiny, or are you afraid of the word “destiny”? Does the word “destiny” scare you? That’s what we’re talking about, and if you don’t find     the highest expression of your talent, if you settle for “interesting,” what the hell ever that means, do you know what will happen at the end of your long life? Your eulogy will read  “He was a distinguished engineer who invented Velcro.” But what that eulogy should have told in an  alternative lifetime, is “Here lies the last Nobel Laureate in Physics, who formulated the Grand Unified Field Theory and demonstrated the practicality of warp drive.”

I love  the way he has ended the speech like a Nolan movie’s climax. He makes us think about what we should do so that will achieve a great success.

I will complete my unless –

“Unless I do not waste my time and study really well instead of being lazy”
– As simple as that.
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