Michael Divine


‘In a recent interview, Marc Andreessen [an investor who made all his money in tech and then VC investing] was asked what his best advice would be to a smart 23-year-old American today. “Don’t follow your passion,” he said. “Your passion is likely more dumb and useless than anything else. Your passion should be your hobby, not your work. Do it in your spare time.”‘

Business Insider – Jun 22, 2021

Don’t follow your passions. Don’t do that which brings you joy. At best, it’s a frivolity. At worse, it’s just taking up your spare time when you could be consuming more.

BE A PLEBE. Work all day. Go home. Watch TV. Sleep. Rinse. Repeat.

Passions are for people who have freedom. How you gonna follow your passions with that credit card debt? That rent? The car payment?

Passions are for losers who invest in themselves.

And, definitely, if anyone needs to hear that, it’s the 23 year olds who are just getting out there thinking about what they want to do with their lives.

If too many people follow their passions, who is left to work at the companies he’s investing in?

Dream big.

At worse, you fail. But when you die, you won’t wonder what it could have been like if you’d just given it a shot.

When I was 16 my dad suggested I pursue art as a hobby. He was just being pragmatic and didn’t know at all what a life in the arts could possibly be like. Perhaps I could find something else that would really support me. So I spent years hustling, hungry for the creative pursuit but sometimes just hungry. I did it as best I could because really the art DIDN’T support me, from a financial perspective. But you know what did? The passion for it. And the fire it ignited in me.

It’s up to you to strike a spark inside yourself that ignites the flame that will burn the entirety of your lifetime. No one else will do it for you. They say the person who follows their dreams never has to ‘work’ a day in their life. But the people who say that never followed their dreams. It’s non stop work. But it’s YOUR work and yours alone and there’s something exhilarating about that freedom, the unknown, the raw work of it.

And, really, decades later, it will be work to rise up and keep working on those passions. But they’re your passions still. They are the ship you got on. They dressing may change. The look of the output may change. No one is expecting you to continue the same narrative throughout your entire life. But the passion is the same.

As time passes, and you look up, you may eventually see fruits of those labors. You may find deeper self satisfaction and a deeper sense of knowing who you are. You’ll experience fear and uncertainty but anyone who has a “regular” job experiences that too, just different flavors.

Don’t listen to blow-hard investors – more rich white dudes who think they know everything. Don’t let those words eat at you if you see them. That’s what they are meant to do. They are meant to be that niggling voice that subdues the fire and nibbles away at your self confidence.

Your passions may not be monetizable. They may not be something you’ll ever make a ‘living’ at. But there’s a happy medium between selling your soul to the capitalist ladder and doing good work for a living. The bills must be paid. The rent we pay to live on this planet must be accounted for. So find something that makes a positive impact in the world. Do good work. And follow your passions in whatever way you see fit.

The world is filled with people who listened to the self-doubts of others. Best you tackle your own and find the passion that drives you.

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