You’ve probably heard the phrase “follow your passion.” While it can work for some people, others say it’s misleading advice.
Shark Tank’s Mark Cuban explained why in a recent CNBC interview:
“I used to be passionate to be a baseball player. Then I realized I had a 70-mile-per-hour fastball,” says Cuban. Competitive major league pitchers throw fastballs in the range of 90-plus miles per hour.
“I used to be passionate about being a professional basketball player. Then I realized I had a 7-inch vertical,” says Cuban. Top contenders for the NBA draft in 2017 each had a max vertical leap over 40 inches.
“There are a lot of things I am passionate about. A lot,” says Cuban.
Instead, pay attention to those things that you devote time to, says Cuban. Double down your investment there.
“The things I ended up being really good at were the things I found myself putting effort into. A lot of people talk about passion, but that’s really not what you need to focus on. You really need to evaluate and say, ‘Okay, where am I putting in my time?’” says Cuban.
“Because when you look at where you put in your time, where you put in your effort, that tends to be the things that you are good at. And if you put in enough time, you tend to get really good at it,” explains Cuban.
When you are good at something, you enjoy it, says Cuban. The effort and skill snowball.
There it is, folks: “Follow your effort.” Become good at something, then put in the effort to become even better—and eventually the best.