Where Magic Happens
We are increasingly looking for careers that can provide a purpose as well. We ponder the question, "what is the purpose of what I do" and try to look for answers in our daily actions. This is not new - thousands of philosophers have attempted to answer these questions. As I read more (and especially after reading this book), I've come to realize that the answer to such questions is very subjective. But in my search for answers, I've derived a framework that has been able to guide me. I call it - Where Magic Happens.
- What you like to do: Things that give you pleasure. When you do these things, you lose track of time. You would do these things for free because you enjoy doing these things.
- What you're good at: These are things where you are better at producing results compared to the general population. You've acquired skills through which you're on a path to becoming an expert.
- What makes you money: These are things that society wants, and you know how to provide them with your skills.
People at Level 1 are usually unsatisfied with life.
- Excellence: These could be your hobbies or side-projects. Or this could be your full-time career where you're struggling to make the required amount of money. Note that the amount of money is subjective here.
- Perseverance: Here is where we have "jobs" without a calling. Most of the people in the world in typical jobs would be here. People here work hard and persist through the hardships of careers but feel that something is missing.
- Amateur: This is usually a transition state because you'll eventually become good at it if you like doing something. But this could also be people who jump between money-making things without necessarily practising to be good at it.
Few people transition to Level 2, which increases wealth, happiness, or both.
If you're doing what you like and you're good at it. You're also making money doing it - then congratulations - you're already doing magic.
Most people want to be here but do not know how to. It is challenging, and only a few people make a transition here. People like Naval and Elon are here.
People at this level are generally more content with their life. They may not necessarily be famous or rich, but they've found peace and happiness. Wealth is usually a good side effect of being here.
How to Ascend Levels
Honestly, I am figuring this out myself too. But it is a process of self-discovery and risk tolerance that can last several years. Identification is the first and most challenging step. Knowing where you are right now will provide the most clarity and carve out a path on where to go next.
If you're starting your career and you've found your calling, slowly building excellence will attract money as you become highly specialized in what you do.
If you're unsure, it may be okay to try things that society is already asking for as an amateur and settle on things once you've tried many things.
If you're conservative or have money/debt problems, you should pick up any job and start from there. I think that is a safe bet to take. The money would allow you freedom in making choices in the future.
People in mid-career would be in the perseverance category. My recommendation would be to pick up skills or side-projects that you like and become better at them before fully embracing them as a career option.