Members in the Media
From: Wired

Not enjoying your job? Let the spark of passion come first


The other day, a friend said that the US is the grittiest country in the world.

Is it? Is there a surplus in the US of passion and perseverance for long-term goals? Should we be exporting our culture of grit to other countries?

“Americans work long hours and take little time off for vacation,” she said. “So, we must be the grittiest.”

Thirty years ago, psychologist Benjamin Bloom interviewed 120 world-class performers in maths, neuroscience, swimming, tennis, piano and sculpture. Most said their expertise was from years of skill-building practice.

But before practice came play. Almost all described falling in love with their vocation, during what Bloom called “the early years”, during which they engaged in their calling somewhat casually, with minimal focus on improving weaknesses and maximal focus on enjoyment and interest. They practised, but not with the intensity that would come later.

Sports psychologist Jean Côté finds the same pattern in pro athletes: those who start out playing for fun, dabbling in a few sports rather than pursuing one, tend to avoid injury and burnout.

Read the whole story: Wired

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