Friday link round-up: Do your actions align with your passions and goals?

Published by Lori Pickert on April 26, 2013 at 08:38 AM

This week on Facebook, we returned to the passion vs. mastery argument:

“Think about all the things you have been passionate about in your life. Think about all those passions that you considered making a career out of or building a company around. How many were/are there? Why did you bounce from one to another? Why were you not able to make a career or business out of any of those passions? Or if you have been able to have some success, what was the key to the success? Was it the passion or the effort you put in to your job or company ?

If you really want to know where you destiny lies, look at where you apply your time.” — Don’t Follow Your Passion, Follow Your Effort @ Blog Maverick

There were some strong reactions on Facebook voting in favor of passion. I wrote a post about this, if you recall:

To really learn something, you need both knowledge and skills. You have to gather the knowledge and then you have to work with it. To discard passion (or authentic interest) is to drain the life force from the learner and therefore from the work. Am I going to bring my best efforts to something that holds no interest for me? Am I going to achieve flow? Am I going to strive to challenge myself? — Why Skills Don’t Trump Passion

The thing is, in my opinion it shouldn’t be “passion over everything” — it should be “passion *plus* mastery.”

Skills don’t trump passion. Skills are what you know how to do. Passion is where you start finding out who you are, what you’re good at, and what the world needs.Why Skills Don’t Trump Passion

I do think you should look at where you apply your time and your effort. Because if you think you have a passion but you aren’t willing to put in the time and the hard work to build up your skills, then what you have is a pipe dream. Real passion calls to something deep inside you that demands effort, sharing, and contributing. If you aren’t moved to do those things, then you need to consider whether it’s really a passion at all.

This week’s Facebook posts focused on self-examination, so let’s continue! Your passion may not really be much of a passion if you aren’t willing to do the work — and inspiration isn’t worth anything if it doesn’t lead to real doing.

The inspiration is not the receiving of information. The inspiration is applying what you’ve received. People think that if they keep reading articles, browsing books, listening to talks, or meeting people, that they’re going to suddenly get inspired. But constantly seeking inspiration is anti-inspiring.


You have to pause the input, and focus on your output. For every bit of inspiration, use it and amplify it by applying it to your work. Then you’ll finally feel the inspiration you’ve been looking for.” — Seeking Inspiration? Stop Looking and Start Doing @ LifeHacker

This week’s theme is also evidently “share a quote then share one of my old posts” — here’s my take on too much inspiration, not enough action:
If attention is a finite resource, we need to be careful how we allot it.

If you have ever gotten caught on Tumblr or Flickr browsing 800 images of home offices, gardens, or kid spaces, you know what inspiration overload is. Especially when you find yourself addicted to looking at other people’s art projects and art studios but you haven’t touched a pencil yourself in ages.

The problem with too much input is, it leads to too little output. What is the point of endlessly gathering new information if we never do anything with it? Inspiration Overload

In the same theme of examining our habits and determining whether they’re really supporting our goals, I loved this post about examining your social-media habits:

Is it necessary to share this? Will it add value to my life and for other people?


Can I share this experience later so I can focus on living it now?


Am I looking for validation? Is there something I could do to validate myself?” — 9 Questions to Ask About Your Social Media Addiction

Click through to read the rest of the questions.
I don’t like framing this as social-media addiction for our context, however. Let’s frame it as self-reflection: taking the time to think about what we’re doing and why and whether our choices align with our goals. That’s worth thinking about!
It’s important to stop regularly and think about your goals. What do you want to accomplish? Do your routines and habits support those goals? Are you still feeling passionate about what you’re doing? Keri Smith has a great post about how to get published, and buried inside, she talks about how it’s about the journey, not the reward — the process, not the product:

But what I learned in the meantime was bigger than any publishing tip I had ever read, you really must LOVE THE WORK. While getting published is an exciting possible outcome of a creative endeavor, it should not used as a motive for creating. Really enjoy yourself and the process of creating… — Seven Steps to Getting Published, Keri Smith

In Reggio schools, they say Niente Senza Gioia — Nothing without joy. Measuring your joy is a good way of seeing if you’re still on track. Is hard work required? Oh, yes. Is it always fun? Nope. But you should still have the passion, you should still feel the drive to make and share and build, and you should still love the work. If you don’t love it, it’s not going to resonate with anyone else.


I hope you all have been checking out the new PBH Kids tumblr blog — I’ll slowly be adding more and more self-directed projects by kids of all ages, and we are going to have some kid-written reviews of project resources as well. If you want to share some kid-directed work, send me an e-mail through the contact form on this blog!


And finally, a great quote from the PBH forum:

I also loved what Ian told me yesterday — He said, “All of our projects connect! Because I am learning about the ocean, and Micah is learning about machines, and they use machines to explore the ocean, and Max is learning about dinosaurs and he is really wanting to know about fossils, and Lena is learning about people skeletons, and…” He’s right, they are all connecting, sometimes in startling ways.

Everything is connected.


On that note, hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!


Comment by Cath on May 12, 2013 at 07:06 PM

I just wanted to wish you a Happy Mother's Day because you must be an extraordinary mother. Your words have supported me this year in my project based homeschooling journey and I feel very grateful to have found your website. Thank you for all the inspiration and pointing me in life enhancing directions in my thoughts and actions. I enjoy your clarity and vision. Thank you.

Comment by Lori Pickert on May 12, 2013 at 09:20 PM


thank you so much, what a beautiful message to find on mother’s day! :)

happy mother’s day to you & i’m so glad you found this community. <3

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