Andrew (perspectivism) wrote,

Po Bronson Interviews to Distill What Matters

I spent time with them all in person, which was absolutely necessary. (About 60 are included in the book.) None were friends when I started, but most were by the time I was done. These were microwave friendships, forged with fast blasts of revelation and bonding, like those formed quickly in a freshman dorm, remembered for years.

Many of the stories are of people who overcame crises � layoffs, bankruptcy, untimely pregnancies, moral dilemmas, long hospital stays, imprisonment, expulsion from school � and used that moment to redefine their life. Not all ended up in a new career, but all have a new character. A better self rose from the ashes, more in tune with their real nature.


The conventional thought process for passion hunting is, "Maybe I should work in politics. I like issues. Maybe I should go to D.C. But what would a job there be like? I�d tear articles from newspapers, fetch bosses their coffee, and be responsible for the balloon trees at campaign stops. I�d be paid almost nothing and live with roommates. I�d wear slacks and a tie. I�d hang out with smart people. In two years I�d have my own office. Does that sound like me? Can I see myself doing that?" We try on these imagined lives like cheap suits, testing them for fit, without much awareness of how they�re going to change us. Ignore fit for a moment and assume you�re going to be a slightly different person after spending several years in X field. How will it change you?

Maybe this way: "If I went to D.C., it will make me very competitive. My days will be defined by whether we won or lost in getting our message picked up by the media and into the minds of the voters. I will become very shrewd at second-guessing every so-called-fact or statistic thrown my way. The issues will matter almost as much as winning does. I will slowly accept the necessity of compromise. I�ll be less impressed by how much money you have than by the number of people you can influence. I�ll fervently believe putting those balloon trees up in time is just about the most important thing in the world."

Now, does that sound good for me? Do I need to learn those things? This way of thinking tries to factor in your growth potential, and maybe challenges you to broaden. (Po Bronson's new book)
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