Part-Time Passion

Gustav Mahler wrote much of his brilliant music in between his respon- sibilities as a conductor. In fact, he wasn’t even known as much of a com- poser during his lifetime, only having his work broadly celebrated after his death.

Albert Einstein developed much of his theory of special relativity while operating as a patent clerk, a job that afforded him the time and space to work out his theories in his spare moments.

As discussed earlier, we tend to want our jobs to contain the sum total of our creative output, but that is impossible. While your job will hopefully accommodate more and more of your creative ideas over time, you simply cannot—as a professional—expect a job to completely fulfill you creatively. You should have a side outlet that allows you to express yourself in ways your on-demand work cannot.

Have you ever wanted to write a novel? Record an album? Develop a mathematical theorem? (OK, maybe that last one was a stretch…) Do it! Develop a plan, and start working on it in the spare moments of your life. You don’t need permission or a paycheck to start. And the best part is that these side projects will often bring additional clarity and energy for your on-demand work as well.

Your body of work will be much larger and more nuanced than what your job can contain.


What part-time passion should you pursue?

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