I stumbled upon this quote from Thomas Keller a few days ago, and it’s been haunting me ever since.
It’s not about passion. Passion is something that we tend to overemphasize, that we certainly place too much importance on. Passion ebbs and flows. To me, it’s about desire. If you have constant, unwavering desire to be a cook, then you’ll be a great cook. If it’s only about passion, sometimes you’ll be good and sometimes you won’t. You’ve got to come in every day with a strong desire. With passion, if you see the first asparagus of the springtime and you become passionate about it, so much the better, but three weeks later, when you’ve seen that asparagus every day now, passions have subsided. What’s going to make you treat the asparagus the same? It’s the desire.
Via Fast Company
While I certainly can relate to the culinary element of this – I think I had the desire – it strikes a nerve more so in my career as a web developer. I think I had the passion, just not the desire. Three weeks after the first time I used some new tool or trick, it lost its luster. I didn’t get excited, I wasn’t the type of person to want to get up early and do it all over again. So I spent the last year or so of being a developer chasing the newest shiny thing so I didn’t have to deal with the everyday.
Even after reading this, I’m not sure it would have struck a nerve if I didn’t think I’d found a new profession that I do have the desire for. Long after the bloom is off the rose, I’m still excited to do the routine.