(Photo Courtesy LATimes Framework)
In a previous post about Steve Job’s innovation secrets, we saw how Steve Jobs thinks it is important for you to find your life’s passion. He believes that only when this passion is engaged, will we see excellence & innovation in our pursuits – job or otherwise. We now have another Steve advising students to find their passion in life – Steve Ballmer.
In a commencement speech at USC, Ballmer mentions that finding passion is one of the three most important things anyone ought to be doing. This is what he had to say on the topic:
Find passion. This is not an easy one. People think passion is something you either have or you don’t. People think passion is something that has to manifest itself in some kind of explosive and emotional format. It’s not. It’s the thing that you find in your life that you can care about, that you can cling to, that you can invest yourself in, heart, body, and soul. Finding passion is kind of your job now. It’s been your job the last four years at USC, or shorter, or longer, depending on which program you’re in. And it’s your job as you go forward into the world. You won’t necessarily find it the minute you get out.
I think about my own personal sort of discovery of passion. I didn’t come to the technology industry naturally. I wrote my first computer program in ninth grade, and I hated it. I was shy as a kid. I don’t think that I qualify on that anymore. I got to college and I was going to be a physicist or a mathematician. I decided I had way too little patience after about the end of my freshman year, and I groped for other things to do. The thing that switched me on, actually, I was the football manager for our college football team. And I discovered through that that I like to organize things, that that was kind of my passion. I got out of college, as many of you are, and I went to work for a great company, and I found I didn’t have the patience to work marketing brownie mixes and cake mixes. I had to give it up after a year or two.
Then by luck, as I was thinking about a career in the movie business, another business that I thought might match my patience and attention span, my buddy called and I was introduced to this fast paced, wonderful industry, where I could be a little organizer of a 30-person company from day one. And I found my passion. It takes a lot of trial and error. It takes a lot of experimentation. Find your passion, so that every day you can get up, even on the bad days you can get up and say, I really do love what I’m doing. This really does fire me up.
Full transcript of the speech is available at GeekWire.