Derek Sivers

dashing dog, searching for purpose


People search for their passion or purpose. But “purpose” and “passion” are words we use when we’re not working.

When we’re actually engaged in the flow of fascinating work, we don’t think in these terms. The task at hand fills our mind. The task itself is what keeps us up all night, not some extracted story of purpose.

Imagine you put a GPS tracker on a dog, then you set him free to run in the countryside. He dashes. He digs. He stops to sniff. He romps with another dog.

Later, when you map his recorded GPS data, you see that he generally went north-east. But would you say that going north-east is his passion and purpose?

You are like the dog. Don’t seek a story of purpose to guide or label your fascinations.

When we announce something, we have a social need to be congruent. If you say that your purpose or passion is to go north-east, but then you get interested in something to the south-west, you might ignore that interest and limit your play to what fits the narrative. Don’t do this to yourself.

Focus on what fascinates you, no matter how uncharacteristic. There is no purpose because there is no line connecting moments in time. There is no plot. You are not a story.

Crazy Face Pup
photo by fine_plan