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Insightful Letter 4
Are you looking for your passion?

Hello ,

I hope you are doing great. 

For the past two weeks, I am getting a lot of messages from people regarding my articles and newsletters. It's great to see people's appreciation and their suggestions.

I understood from the comments of people that they have many questions on various disciplines that they want to ask. Questions that they don't or can't ask people nearby them. 

I don't want my e-mails just to be one-way communication, I am thinking to arrange 'ask me anything' type survey once a month where you can ask whatever you wish to, especially the deep questions you have.

Of course, I am not a great expert who has all the answers but I believe together we can find a better answer than what you or I have today.

Your can convey your suggestions regarding this by replying to this mail.  

Here is today's newsletter's idea.

 The Idea      

Two days back a girl messaged me on Facebook '

Is passion and skill both are the same? How will I realize that what is my skill and what is my passion? 

I think these are the questions that we all can relate to.

And it's really not easy to answer these questions. I think this passion mindset became profound after the industrial revolution.

If you read about the time before the industrial revolution, especially the time during the renaissance era (the period between 1300-1600) in Europe, people in those times had a different approach towards passion. 

Leonardo Da Vinci,  Nicolaus Copernicus, Galileo Galilei, William Shakespeare, etc lived in that era.

Today most of us believe that each one of us has a predefined work that is our passion and once we find that life will great from there.

But look at the lives of the abovementioned people. Do you think they did just one specific work in their lifetime? 

Most of them had multiple interests and skills throughout their life.

I think the best way to find out what you really love doing is to explore things. Maybe there is a great artist hiding inside you, pull that out. You don't know what you are good at until you try enough things persistently.

You won't find the work you love by seeing it in your dreams or it will come to you like deja vu. At least, there is very little chance of happening that.

I read a great book named 'So good they can't ignore you' by Cal Newport. The author described wonderfully about passion. He phrased the term 'passion trap'. The author said

"so many people are miserable at their work is that they have ascribed to a misguided expectation: that once you find your passion everything will fall into place, it will be a smooth ride from thereon. Whereas the reality is not that smooth." 

He further suggests to develop a craftsman mindset instead of a passion mindset.

Passion mindset thinks like what can the world offer me. But a craftsman mindset thinks like what I can offer to the world.

Rather than thinking hard over what is your passion, it is much better to develop rare and valuable skills that might help you identify your passion. I have written an entire article on this previously. Read that here.

There is no doubt that life is magical for people who are doing the work that they truly love (passion). It is usual for people to look for passion. 

But just thinking about passion can be counterproductive, rather spend much of your time in developing rare and valuable skills. 

Newport says 'Telling a young person to follow their passion reduces the probability they will end up passionate'

Therefore, develop a craftsman mindset that will help you to find the work you truly love.  



One book/article recommendation

Cal Newport is one of my favorite authors and persons. I am following him for the last 4 years and learned so much from him. He is a computer science professor at Georgetown University, USA. 

I read his newsletters, listen to his podcast, and read his blogs. He has written great books. He is like my role model. I urge you to read his book

'So good they can't ignore you'.  You will get many insights about passion.

I have written a summary of his book in one of my articles. You can read that as well.

Are you looking for your passion-be careful!

One video suggestion

Here is one of the videos by Cal Newport where talks about why 'follow your passion' is a bad advice. You must watch it.

One quote

"Passion is not something you follow. It's something that will follow you as you put in the hard work to become valuable to the world."

                                                                           - Cal Newport


This week I have written about the danger of watching/reading too much news and how they are affecting your mind and body. If you haven't read yet, read it by clicking below.

July 5 , 2020
How Watching News Ruining Your Life

Read the full article

If you have anything to say or ask, just reply to this mail. I will respond.

Until next week,


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Jayabrata Das

IIT Bombay, Powai, Mumbai

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