In 1960, a researcher interviewed 1500 business-school students and classified them in two categories: those who were in it for the money – 1245 of them – and those who were going to use the degree to do something they cared deeply about – the other 255 people. Twenty years later, the researcher checked on the graduates and found that 101 of them were millionaires – and all but one of those millionaires came from the 255 people who had pursued what they loved to do!
Now, you may think that your passion for Icelandic poetry of the baroque period, or butterfly collecting, or golf – or social justice – might consign you to a permanent separation between what you love and what you do for a living, but it isn't necessarily so. Vladimir Nabokov, one of the greatest novelists of this centurey, was far more passionate about butterfly collecting than writing. His first college teaching job, in fact, was in lepidoptery. REsearch on more than 400,000 Americans over the past 40 years indicates that pursuing your passions – even in small doses, here and there each day – helps you make the most of your current capabilities and encourages you to develop new ones.
From The other 90% by Robert K. Cooper, Three Rivers Press 2001.