“Wasted talent is a waste I cannot stand.”
– Larry Smith

In this poignant and energetic TED Talk, Larry Smith argues that good careers no longer exist. And that our choices boil down to having a great career or having a dismal career. With nothing left in between.

Having read enough of Seth Godin and having witnessed the job trends through the years, I tend to agree. If we want a great career, it’s no longer enough for us to just show up and prove our “competence,” as Smith says. This may have worked 50 years ago but no more. It’s essential that we tap into our greatest passion if we expect to have our greatest career experience.

He goes through all the reasons we give ourselves to not pursue our dreams and passions. All the reasons we will fail to have a great career. Gotta say… I’ve used almost every one of them. And of all the excuses we give ourselves, it all boils down to one common denominator-  fear. We will fail to have a great career unless we can somehow overcome our fears.

His biggest message: hone in on our passion. And learn to differentiate between our passion and our interests. Focusing on all our interests can confuse us and dilute our energy when we’re trying to choose a career path. Rather than dwelling on ALL our interests, focus on the one thing that fires us up. Our true passion.

We’re all inventors of our own lives. What kind of inventor are you? Are you an inventor of solutions or an inventor of excuses? How important is it to you that you have a great career? When WILL it be time to pursue your passion?