Ships that pass in the night, and speak each other in passing,
Only a signal shown and a distant voice in the darkness;
So on the ocean of life we pass and speak one another,
Only a look and a voice, then darkness again and a silence.

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

On Passion

Of late, I’ve been thinking of my rather checkered career.

Mike Rowe, was once a member of the Baltimore City Opera for five years, the experience of which he mentions in the May issue of Outside magazine: “I’m one of two straight, unmarried guys in a troupe with 35 women. I’m 23, dressed as a pirate, all the girls are dressed like French prostitutes, and there’s Wagner and Verdi, and Puccini playing. It was a hell of a thing.”

His job advice for us? “‘Follow your passion” is the worst advice you can give someone”.  Instead he admonishes:  “If you bring your passion with you, you can apply it to anything that makes sense.” (emphasis mine).

Then I also remembered what Steve Jobs said in his commencement speech at Stanford University several years ago:

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.

You have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.

I’m not sure I can really say that I love what I’m doing, though I work with a great team.  I think I need to listen to myself and reflect more on what Jobs said: Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. Or given the economic situation and the stage of my life, should I just be content and, as Rowe said above, bring my passion to my current job?