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Don't Follow Your Passion?

Randy Wilson


(Trigger Warning:  The following is a Ydnar rant, not a safe space.)


Yesterday, I was busy deleting emails, wiping the hard drive with a cloth, and I found a directive from an Alphabet Agency instructing me to read an article from Bloomberg entitled, "Following Your Passion Is Not A Career Goal".


I was puzzled.  Why would these folks suggest a philosophy that runs counter to what is needed to survive as a golf course superintendent?  Did they not read the article?  Perhaps the title sounded good?  The author is a cubicle dweller in NYC, and from his photo, I'm guessing he's about 13, so he's not a top agronomic guy who works outside, enduring harsh weather and navigating a wide range of obstacles.


My first thought was . . . they couldn't get Tim Moraghan or Randy Nichols or William Shirley to offer targeted advice?


Instead, we get this resident of the concrete canyons saying things like, "Follow your passion is outdated advice . . . follow your passion, you'll be homeless by age 30."


This is like that stuff you hear in those endless seminars where people who could never do your job tell you how to do your job.


Absorbing advice from people who have good, solid wisdom to share--especially the kind based on actual experience--is an important practice.  For instance, were I to find myself in a combat zone, I would seek counsel from those with previous experience operating in that area, rather than someone with great "Call of Duty" skills.

. . . let's get this pyramid finished before the Pharaoh gets impatient

In the golf zone, TurfNet consistently offers advice from experienced golf business experts, and from time to time, The Maestro himself will place excellent business philosophy and strategy articles in the TurfNet Forum.


To me, this Don't Follow Your Passion preacher is really saying, "Chase only the money, ignore your heart, do what you're told and let's get this pyramid finished before the Pharaoh gets impatient and cuts your benefits and my bonus check."


The old saying about doing what you love and you'll never work a day in your life is much more applicable to the life of the GCS and the rest of us in golf, than the teachings of a sheltered academic who gave himself to the worship of Mammon.


It makes me think whoever selected this article for GCS ingestion hasn't spent a lot of time hossing mowers, hunting leaks with a shovel, laying sod all day . . . or watching irrigation backlit by the sunrise as a big whitetail buck bounds across a misty fairway.


Too much time in a cubicle is dangerous.  The teachings of Ydnar The Terrible clearly state, "Cubicles are just air-conditioned coffins."


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Could not imagine what a golf course would look like if you took passion and heart out of the equation. The dude is just jeolous that he didn't follow his passion! Misery loves company right!?

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Couldn't agree more. Pride and a passion for your work is what pushes you to give a quality product. All of the quality mechanics I have worked with over the years have had a passion and pride in fixing things.

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I should have used that misery axiom instead of Ydnar's coffin quote, but that would have required me to calm down before I wrote the column. Ha!



Thanks for reading. Occasionally, my anti-common sense warning buzzer goes off and won't shut down until I do something about it. I guess I wouldn't last long in NYC.

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