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Notes from "The Passion Paradox" by Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness



Interest is an invitation to exploration, drawing your attention to activities that have the potential to grow into something greater. But that can only occur if you accept the invitation.


The best route to making your passion a bigger part of your life is to do so gradually.


The best way to devote more time and energy to a passion is to follow the barbell strategy - incrementally shifting more away from safe and stable, that is your day job, and towards what makes you tick, that is your passion.


Hedonic Adaptation says that we quickly adapt to a state of happiness or contentedness, and it's not long before we want more.


What is important doesn't necessarily get our attention. What gets our attention becomes important.


The mastery mindset contains 6 key principles:

  1. Driven from within.

  2. Focus on the process.

  3. Don't worry about being the best, worry about being the best at getting better.

  4. Embrace acute failure for chronic gains.

  5. Be patient.

  6. Be here now.


Don't strive for balance. Instead, strive for the self-awareness that is necessary to evaluate the unique trade-offs that passion requires making in your own life.


Keeping death at the forefront of your mind is one of the best ways to ensure you live the life you want to live.


5 Remembrances of Buddhism:

  1. You are of the nature to grow old.

  2. You are of the nature to have ill health.

  3. You are of the nature to die.

  4. All that is dear to you is of the nature to change.

  5. Your actions are your only true belongings. They are the ground upon which you stand.


Stories are central to our nature. We literally cannot do anything without creating an accompanying narrative. One of the defining aspects of the human species is we are hardwired to create stories to make meaning of our lives.


The story we tell ourselves about ourselves is who we become.


If you can take control of and write your story, you can take control of and write your life.


Instead of striving for balance, the passionate person should strive to be self-aware. Self-awareness, which paradoxically comes from distancing yourself from yourself, is the only force strong enough to counteract passion's overwhelming inertia. Self-awareness ensures that you control your passion rather than your passion controlling you. It allows you to honestly evaluate what your passion is costing you and to choose how to go forward as a result.

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