I’m currently reading Success Built to Last, and I think it is one of the best books I’ve read recently. While most books only touch on the superficial issues like getting rich, famous, or success in its narrow sense, this book cuts through the surface and gets right to the essence: how to create a fulfilling life, a life that matters.
There are many invaluable life lessons I get from this book, but this time I’d like to touch on only one of them, which is portfolio of passions.
Although one passion usually dominates Builders’ lives and defines their successes in the eyes of the world, it’s a mistake to believe there’s just one passion that must be pursued at the expense of all others… Focus should not be confused with a narrow life… On the way to lasting success and a life that matters, Builders embrace more than one passion… What you really need is to balance your portfolio of passions… For Builders, there is not just one thing to do with their life. Every passion counts.
(“Builders” is the term the authors used for “enduringly successful people”)
This concept of “portfolio of passions” answers one of my confusions in life. I love personal development, but I also love business and information technology. Previously I was confused: which one should I choose? Which one should I build my career upon? Now I understand that there is actually no problem here: I do not need to choose any of them! Instead, what I need to do is finding place for each of those passions and finding ways to leverage them.
One name that comes into to my mind is Darren Rowse. He is commonly known as the Problogger through his famous Problogger blog, but he also has numerous other successful blogs such as Digital Photography School. How can he start so many successful blogs? How can he be successful in so many fields? While some people may see it as lack of focus, now I understand that what Darren actually does: he is leveraging his portfolio of passions. He finds a place for each of his passions and turn them into successful ventures.
Learning from this, I believe that our portfolio of passions is the starting point of living a rich life. Instead of neglecting some of our passions in the name of focus, we can start identifying them and finding ways to leverage them. As said in the quote above, every passion counts.