Why You Will Fail to Have a Great Career

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"No matter how many times people say, "If you want a great career you have to pursue your passions... you'll decide not to do it," jokes self-described "dismal" economist Larry Smith, a professor at University of Waterloo and author of "No Fears. No Excuses." We're experts at finding excuses not to look for our passions. We find reasons why others could be successful and we couldn't, believing those with great careers have luck, not genius nor eccentricity. Instead, we settle for interesting.

"Look for alternatives" to "interesting," Smith advises, wondering if we really want to say in the future that we had dreams but were too afraid to pursue them. I suspect many will disagree with some of his arguments that having a great career is part of being a whole person, but it's worth the 15 minutes to take a look at Smith's humorous and thought-provoking TEDxUW talk "Why you will fail to have a great career."