Techies, Passion, and Knowing What You Want

Techies, Passion, and Knowing What You Want

I enjoyed reading Tony Hsieh’s Delivering Happiness. It’s an informative and entertaining look at how Tony built and sold it to Amazon for an amazing 1.2 Billion Dollars.

After reading through the book, I tried to analyze what it was that made Tony so successful. A lot of factors came to mind: hard work, having a do-what-it-takes attitude, and having a strong intellect. But two traits stood out the most: Passion and always Being Very Clear on What He Wanted.

In comparing myself against these traits, I came up short, especially with the two that I considered most important. I decided to share why this is so, because I think a lot us Techies are in the same boat.

We techies typically dislike emotions. We like to think we are logical, and that emotions are to be avoided because they lead to bad decisions. (Actually, the book How We Decideshows that we need to be more open-minded about this, in that the old lizard part of our brain is best for making certain types of decisions.)

So, while we are not without passion, we often restrain passion because we want to make decisions based on logic. In reality, passion can drive you to to take on challenges that your logical mind would call absurd and impossible.

And, as has been shown by Tony and countless other young entrepreneurs, going for what you are passionate about can bring it to life. (It has been said that the reason most successful entrepreneurs are young is because they haven’t learned what is “impossible” yet, so they just go ahead and accomplish the “impossible.”)

The other area where I came up lacking was Knowing What I Really Want. I’m at that stage in life where I have most of what I have ever wanted. Plus, when I now think about what I want, I get caught up in questioning what “should” I want.

Maybe this is not a problem for you. Maybe you are very clear on what you want, and periodically take time to think through whether your wants have changed.

But, I suspect that at least some of you could, like me, work on this area: it’s a busy, busy world, and many of you may not have had much time over the past year to think this through.

Anyway, that’s what I got out of Tony’s book. You can check out the Amazon reviews to see if it’s a book you might be interested in.

I’m not trying to sell you on it: just sharing with you some of what I got out of it.

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