Finding your passion

There’s a lot of discussion around passion and finding it for college students. No, not that kind of passion–get your mind out of the gutter. Passion as in caring deeply about.

Cal Newport’s guest post on the Zen Habits blog goes into many aspects of this. Here’s a quote from The Minimalist’s Guide to Cultivating Passion that summarizes a practical insight:

As Caldwell’s research reveals, true passion can’t be forced. You can participate in personality tests and self-reflection exercises until you drop from exhaustion, but it’s unstructured exploration coupled with aggressive follow-ups that most consistently leads people to a life-consuming interest.

He gives several practical examples. It’s worthwhile reading the article, and then thinking about what it means in your life, which is probably cram packed with activities. In light of Newport’s ideas, no wonder we have trouble finding or remembering our passion in life!

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Spending may have permanently shifted

This is the first post on this blog in a new category, which I’ve simply labeled “Bliss.” It’s in support of the use of this year’s common book, The Geography of Bliss. I’m still not quite sure how I’m going to develop it for use in my own classes, and I’m still reading through it myself. But as I’m reading it, I’m getting sensitized to articles, posts, Web pages, etc., that perhaps connect to it. Posts here related to the common book will not go into any discussion of the concepts (I don’t want to impose my own view on whatever it is students are doing with the topics), but will simply point to the related resources with perhaps a brief explanation of what provides the relevance.

Today, I would like to point you to But Will It Make You Happy?, an article that first appeared in the New York Times, that has been shared from them via Yahoo Finance. There is some depth here around recent research that suggests you are better off spending on experiences rather than things, and also that the way you spend has more to do with happiness than does your income.

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