Around here we speak alot about having passion, and letting your passion drive you. Well, Cal Newport, author of "So Good They Can't Ignore You" hates that. I mean he haaaates that. He even has a chapter called "DON'T Follow Your Passion".
Instead he believes we need to adopt what he calls the "craftsman mindset". Instead of being passionate about something and then finding some job inside that passion, he instead suggests becoming amazing at a skill, and then finding our passion as we become "so good they can't ignore you."
This makes some sense. We see many people come to us with absolutely no refined skill (yet). They may have some natural talent, but they have not really put years of training, honing, and crafting into their talent yet. Since we are a "consulting" and "teaching" organization at heart, that's fine. But what these folks want to be is seen, heard, and to do great works that feed their passions.
What we all really need to do is work to be better craftsman at what we do, so we CAN follow our passion.
Many of the Christian artists you may hear on the radio or see in concert are there for a reason. They have developed their craft. They might have come to their label with talent, but they have since honed their talents and skills to a point where audiences can't ignore them. They are so good, they can't be ignored!
This is actually very Biblical.
"Then this Daniel became distinguished above all the other presidents and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him. And the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom." - Daniel 6:3 ESV
"In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." - Matthew 5:16 ESV
If you are just starting your journey towards using your talents for the Lord, accept that you may have a road before you, working to become the absolute best you can be with your skills. Enjoy the work of improving, learning, growing. Resist the temptation to try and live only in passion and be too much too soon. Just because you want to be amazing, you can't be magically. It takes dedication to the craft, and building of a skill.
If you have been at this awhile, know you must continue to put in the work towards your creative goals and keep working. Your time will come (or God's time will come for you). We all have to wait for the time when the world can no longer ignore what we are doing.
Both of the above paragraphs represent folks we meet and work with everyday in Nashville. We see the talented, the eager, the tired, and those obviously ready to get out there with a talent the world can't ignore.
Passion for music or ministry? Cool. But make sure your skill is where it needs to be in order to make a difference out there. The beauty is, if it's not all you need to do is work at it. We've seen beginning and amateur songwriters become skilled and successful. We've seen limited and untrained singers become pro vocalists and develop their own unique style and audience.
Yes, it takes passion, but it also takes skill. The trick is to have both of them in equal parts.
Have a great week!
Eric Copeland heads up Creative Soul, a Christian music production and consulting company in Nashville, TN. He has been developing his skills since about 1976, and the passion since a tad before then probably. For more info check out http://www.CreativeSoulOnline.com
Got a question or comment about passion, skill, and being so good they can't ignore you? Leave a comment below.
About the Author
- Eric Copeland
- Eric Copeland is an author, producer, keyboardist, songwriter, and president of Creative Soul Companies. What is Creative Soul? Our main goals are to inform, encourage, and assist Christian creative folks in ministry, no matter where they are in their journey. Thanks for reading! Find out more us at http://www.CreativeSoulOnline.com