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Stop searching for your passion -- Design it instead

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You've heard that you should follow your passion--and when you do, your life falls into place. Well, if you ask Terri Trespicio, this is bogus advice--not to mention profoundly unhelpful. This keynote address, based on her popular TEDx talk "Stop searching for your passion," which has earned nearly 5 million views to date, was delivered to the Commercial Interior Design Association, in May 2019. In it, Terri debunks this cultural myth, and talks about how to tap your greatest resource to create a life that matters.

Published in: Leadership & Management
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Stop searching for your passion -- Design it instead

  1. 1. Photo by Katerina Kerdi on Unsplash Design it instead. Stop searching for your passion. IIDA | Houston 2019 Terri Trespicio Copyright © 2019 Terri Trespicio All rights reserved.
  2. 2. A few years ago, I delivered a TEDx talk. Copyright © 2019 Terri Trespicio All rights reserved.
  3. 3. Copyright © 2019 Terri Trespicio All rights reserved. “Stop Searching for Your Passion” ~ 5MM views
  4. 4. Photo by Banter Snaps on Unsplash
  5. 5. I wanted to be a writer. I had no idea how. I always loved words.
  6. 6. I wanted to be a writer. I had no idea how. I wanted to be a writer.
  7. 7. I wanted to be a writer. I had no idea how. But I was fearful, doubtful, and critical.
  8. 8. I wanted to be a writer. I had no idea how. I assumed there was one “right” way to do it.
  9. 9. I’ve spent my career crafting ideas in and for media.
  10. 10. Today, I change the way people think about, talk about & communicate what they do.
  11. 11. Passion is a tricky topic. Copyright © 2019 Terri Trespicio All rights reserved.
  12. 12. I got this book for Christmas in 1987. 
 I never even read it.
  13. 13. The idea of a singular stand-out passion is a myth. A cultural myth. Copyright © 2019 Terri Trespicio All rights reserved.
  14. 14. (It also smacks of privilege.) Copyright © 2019 Terri Trespicio All rights reserved.
  15. 15. Passion is not a plan or a goal.
 It’s a feeling, and feelings change. Copyright © 2019 Terri Trespicio All rights reserved.
  16. 16. It’s not even a 
 pre-requisite. Copyright © 2019 Terri Trespicio All rights reserved.
  17. 17. Barbara Corcoran is the biggest name in the brokerage business. She does not, and never has, had a passion for real estate. (Her words!)
  18. 18. Passion is not a goal or the trophy; it’s the energy you bring to the needs you meet. Copyright © 2019 Terri Trespicio All rights reserved.
  19. 19. Photo by Ben Hershey on Unsplash
  20. 20. I’d never caught a football in my life.
 Mainly because no one had ever thrown me one.
  21. 21. Passion has a twin sister: Inspiration.
  22. 22. They will haunt your dreams.
  23. 23. “What inspires you?” Copyright © 2019 Terri Trespicio All rights reserved. You won’t like my answer.
 Because I often don’t feel like doing anything.
  24. 24. You can be inspired by the work, even if you aren’t inspired to do it. Copyright © 2019 Terri Trespicio All rights reserved.
  25. 25. We think it works like this.
  26. 26. Muse visits.
  27. 27. Inspiration flips on.
  28. 28. Float on fairy wings.
  29. 29. Nope. You just end up waiting. Wondering. And doubting.
  30. 30. • We get precious • We get myopic • Fear of risk • Fear of making a mistake • We compare and resist How a fixed idea about “passion” holds us back:
  31. 31. Meaning Value Connection Enjoyment Fulfillment What do we want?
  32. 32. What we want is a life that matters.
  33. 33. What’s the one thing people say when I ask them what they want to do? Help people.
  34. 34. The search for passion is just another way of hiding. I’ll just wait here until what I’m supposed to do is abundantly clear.
  35. 35. “If you persist in hiding, you will be unable to do the generous work you want to do.” Copyright © 2019 Terri Trespicio All rights reserved. —Seth Godin
  36. 36. • The “need” for more information • The “need” for better credentials • Not ready • Not my job • No one asked • Being busy • Other people We hide behind…
  37. 37. Photo by Li Yang on Unsplash
  38. 38. A job isn’t responsible for your passion. You are.
  39. 39. What’s the difference between a job, a career, and a calling?
  40. 40. (I’ll send you the slides & resources) Text “TerriT” to 44222
  41. 41. Copyright © 2017 Terri Trespicio All rights reserved. territ 1. Text “territ” to 44222
 
 2. Reply to text with email
 3. Check your email and confirm. 44222
  42. 42. Amy Wrzesniewski University of Michigan Clark McCauley Bryn Mawr College Paul Rozin University of Pennsylvania Barry Schwartz Swarthmore College Jobs, Careers, and Callings: People’s Relations to Their Work (study)
  43. 43. Work is a means to an ends, necessary evil, supports life outside of work. Jobs, Careers, and Callings: People’s Relations to Their Work, A. Wrzesniewski et al. JOB
  44. 44. Work is a path to upward mobility, achievement, status. Jobs, Careers, and Callings: People’s Relations to Their Work, A. Wrzesniewski et al. CAREER
  45. 45. Work is integral to identity and self-expression; it’s meaningful and satisfying. Jobs, Careers, and Callings: People’s Relations to Their Work, A. Wrzesniewski et al. CALLING
  46. 46. •Reported notably and significantly higher life and job satisfaction than Job and Career respondents. 
 •Ranked work satisfaction significantly higher (relative to hobbies and friends) than did Job and Career respondents
 •Missed fewer days of work Those who see their work as a “Calling”
  47. 47. Satisfaction with life and with work may be more dependent on how an employee sees his or her work than on income or occupational prestige.
  48. 48. The actual job doesn’t seem to matter as much as you’d think.
  49. 49. Why does this matter now?
  50. 50. Copyright © 2017 Terri Trespicio All rights reserved. the connection economy We’re living in
  51. 51. Industrial Age Connection economy Copyright © 2017 Terri Trespicio All rights reserved.
  52. 52. Industrial Age Connection economy Compliance Efficiency Act like a machine Copyright © 2017 Terri Trespicio All rights reserved.
  53. 53. Industrial Age Compliance Efficiency Act like a machine Connection economy Initiative Emotional labor Act like a human Copyright © 2017 Terri Trespicio All rights reserved.
  54. 54. “The value we create is directly related to how much valuable information we can produce, how much trust we can earn, and Seth Godin, The Icarus Deception how often we innovate.”
  55. 55. •Balancing expectations. •Managing relationships. •Tapping your own creativity. •Risking a new idea. EMOTIONAL LABOR
  56. 56. •Balancing expectations. •Managing relationships. •Tapping your own creativity. •Risking a new idea. EMOTIONAL LABOR
  57. 57. Creativity isn’t a hobby; it’s a habit.
  58. 58. “The ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations.” Creativity defined.
  59. 59. Creativity is not: A rare gift A static trait Something they teach you in school Someone else’s job
  60. 60. Creativity is: Built in A skill A habit The only path to individual contribution
  61. 61. —Brene Brown “There’s no such thing as creative people and non-creative people. 
 There are only people who use their creativity and people who don’t.”
  62. 62. Photo by Brandon Green on Unsplash Every morning, Twyla Tharp hails a cab.
  63. 63. Twyla Tharp, Choreographer
  64. 64. “The routine is as much a part of the creative process as the lightning bolt of inspiration, maybe more.” —Twyla Tharp The Creative Habit
  65. 65. Mel Robbins uses the 5 Second Rule.
  66. 66. Make art. (It’s your job.)
  67. 67. “If we want to make meaning, we need to make art.”  —Brene Brown
  68. 68. Painting Poetry Dance Sculpture Music Art was
  69. 69. Painting Poetry Dance Sculpture Music Art became Fine art Commercial art Graphic design Interior design … Art was
  70. 70. Copyright © 2017 Terri Trespicio All rights reserved.
  71. 71. The new performing arts Creative services Entrepreneurship Technology Leadership Customer service Source: Seth Godin
  72. 72. When you… Made a bold suggestion Advocated for an idea, or a person Tried a thing even though it could fail Did something for the sheer joy of doing it Committed to a decision Delivered a little more than was required Really listened Performed a generous act Surprised someone Surprised yourself …you made art.
  73. 73. Creativity and art do not happen in a vacuum.
  74. 74. Creativity does not act alone.
  75. 75. “Creativity does not happen inside people’s heads, but in the interaction between a person’s thoughts and a sociocultural context.” Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Creativity It’s a system.
  76. 76. Seek out flow, not flaws.
  77. 77. What’s keeping you from creating & sharing
 your best stuff?
  78. 78. •Come up with ideas •Meet and discuss •Offer feedback How we do it now
  79. 79. •Come up with ideas •Meet and discuss •Offer feedback How we do it now
  80. 80. Photo by Headway on Unsplash
  81. 81. Typical feedback goes something like this…
  82. 82. BUT “This is ok… “It would be better if…” SO “Please fix it thank you bye.”
  83. 83. This is a shit sandwich.
  84. 84. Our traditional approach to feedback is flawed. Fact:
  85. 85. Instead of “what is the best way to give feedback?” “What is the right way, the best way, to help people thrive and excel?”
  86. 86. 3 Flawed Theories Of Feedback Marcus Buckingham, Ashley Goodall “The Feedback Fallacy,” HBR, March-April 2019
  87. 87. Photo by Ryoji Iwata on Unsplash You can’t see what’s wrong with you (but we can). Flawed theory #1
  88. 88. Flawed theory #2 You’re void of knowledge & need to be filled.
  89. 89. There’s one formula for excellence. Flawed theory #3
  90. 90. “Telling people how we think they should improve Buckingham & Goodall, The Feedback Fallacy,” HBR, March-April 2019 actually hinders learning.” What they discovered:
  91. 91. Excellence is idiosyncratic. Buckingham & Goodall, “The Feedback Fallacy”
  92. 92. There is no one straight path to excellence. There’s only yours.
  93. 93. So how do we get there?
  94. 94. Shift the focus from searching for passion to falling in love with the work
  95. 95. There are a few challenges.
  96. 96. Your brain has a negativity bias (so negative thoughts stick more). Rick Hanson, Hardwiring Happiness
  97. 97. You’ve been taught to believe criticism is “good” for you.
  98. 98. You’ve been taught to compete with instead cultivate creative work.
  99. 99. Criticism shuts down your creativity.
  100. 100. (You battling your inner critic.)
  101. 101. “Sure, Bob, I’d love to hear your feedback.”
  102. 102. Photo by Yerlin Matu on Unsplash
  103. 103. “Getting attention to our strengths from others catalyzes learning, whereas attention to our weaknesses smothers it.” Buckingham & Goodall, The Feedback Fallacy,” HBR, March-April 2019
  104. 104. Retrain the brain Source: Dr. Rick Hanson, author, Hardwiring Happiness Shift the brain from negative bias to positive by giving it an opportunity to experience and “record” the good.
  105. 105. Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash
  106. 106. You’ve been told to Get outside your comfort zone.
  107. 107. “The Feedback Fallacy,” HBR , March-April 2019 “Take us very far out of our comfort zones, and our brains stop paying attention to anything other than surviving 
 the experience.”
  108. 108. Your comfort zone is where you’re most creative, insightful, and productive.
  109. 109. There is a time and place for productive criticism. But it’s not when you’re in creation mode or cultivating excellence.
  110. 110. Silence the critic. Free the creative.
  111. 111. …Build rather than deconstruct. …Offer resources, not criticism. …Honor rather than dictate. …Create rather than compare. How?
  112. 112. The Gateless Writing Method began with Suzanne Kingsbury’s study of neuroscience, Buddhist meditation, and literary masters.
  113. 113. But it’s not just for writers.
  114. 114. • Clients • Colleagues • Designers • Friends • Financial advisors • Employees • Managers • People who do the same kind of work • People who don’t It’s also for…
  115. 115. The new rules of feedback • Focus on what’s working • Do not judge, fix, or criticize • Never disclaim our work • Emphasize the merits of the work
  116. 116. You start to… • Associate your work with pleasure
 • Let what isn’t useful fall away
 • Trust and become trustworthy
 • Become less tolerant of toxic jerks
  117. 117. Being a flaw-finder doesn’t do much for your potential.
  118. 118. Become a heat- seeking missile for meaning and energy
  119. 119. I wanted to be a writer. I had no idea how. This shift helped me write more powerfully than ever.
  120. 120. I wanted to be a writer. I had no idea how. I’m finishing a proposal for my very first book.
  121. 121. Picture it:
  122. 122. Picture it: • Fresh, innovative work • Unleashed creativity • An engaged, supportive team
  123. 123. It doesn’t just shift your approach to work. It can change your life.
  124. 124. what you could achieve if the critical mind had less of a hold over your life. Imagine
  125. 125. Instead of searching for your passion, hiding from risk, and questioning your creativity, you could… What if
  126. 126. …Ignite it by cultivating a creative flame? Photo by Yaoqi LAI on Unsplash
  127. 127. You don’t follow your passion… Your passion 
 follows you.
  128. 128. That means, you need to make the first move.
  129. 129. Photo by Jed Villejo on Unsplash
  130. 130. Thank you! Get the slide deck, resources, plus…
  131. 131. Get all the slides + my free guide to finding your next BIG idea
  132. 132. Text “TerriT” to 44222 Copyright © 2017 Terri Trespicio All rights reserved.
  133. 133. Copyright © 2017 Terri Trespicio All rights reserved. territ 1. Text “territ” to 44222
 
 2. Reply to text with email
 3. Check your email and confirm. 44222
  134. 134. PS. Note that the IIDA specific mailing went out May 23, 2019. If you opt in after the fact, you will be added to the mailing list, but will not receive the email with all the original resources. Please feel free to reach out directly at terri@territrespicio.com if there’s any further info you’re looking for! -Terri

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