Change the World: Help Others Pursue the Passion

Hey, Brett, How Can We Change the World?

One young man graduated college a year ago. He interviewed and found a job in a corporation. He worked one year in which he came to understand that his passion wasn’t waiting at the desk he occupied every day. This young man looked back on his leaving college interviews.

In those interview rooms, the young man remembered the other recent grads he saw waiting their turn. He realized that they — like himself — had been taking the “natural next step” on a career path. He had a conversation with two friends who agreed that something was wrong for people to be starting their careers that way.

The young man’s name is Brett. Brett believes people leaving college should be pursuing their passion not a job . . . Brett sees that as his way to change the world in a positive way.

Pursue the Passion

Guest Writer: Brett Farmiloe

Change the World!

This post has nothing to do with the lessons taught by Guy Kawasaki. There will be no Babyface lyrics in this article. It’s about how I, Brett Farmiloe, a recent college grad and your latest corporate dropout, want to do something important, something that matters.

Will you help me change the world in a positive way?

Let me clarify what changing the world means to me. I don’t have the skills to find an end to world hunger, to move nations toward world peace, or to fight for freedom. Yet I have experience and skills that can make a significant difference. My idea of changing the world is tapping into a powerful, yet largely ignored natural resource — passion — the passion of people who do what they love.

The greatest ideas, effort, and productivity come from people who are propelled by passion. The world certainly needs more of these.

Yet the model we’re living is not designed to produce passion. It leads us down well-traveled career paths of 8 to 6 jobs that promise bonuses, promotions, and job stability. The model does not place importance on an individual’s love has for the work, but on the quantifiable measurements an individual brings.

I’m not buying that model.

One month ago, I left a corporate accounting position to continue a project I started in school. The project, Pursue the Passion, challenges individuals to find their life passion. The project began when two friends and I interviewed professionals about their career paths in hopes that we would find our own passion.

What happened along our journey is that I didn’t discover a passion. I developed many. I also found that an overwhelming majority of people have a passion. They just don’t know how or where to start making it the center of their life. Collectively, these reasons have led me to leave the security of a cubicle, to adopt a new lifestyle, and to pursue my passion with all I am.

Here’s how that looks.

In one month, my two friends and I will be couch surfing America to interview 200 people who love their work. We are traveling 14,000 miles in 90 days to uncover career paths people have paved. We’ll be talking, listening, and taking notes and videotaping so others can benefit from the interviews — the wisdom of the people we meet, their triumphs, the mistakes they share, and their lessons learned.

Would you help us make that tour the most it can be?

We need exceptional people to talk to. We need couches to crash on. We need your input on what prevents people from pursuing their passion and what motivates them to take the leap. We want to have lunch with you. We need your advice. We want to spread the message of our tour throughout this great nation, so that Americans will begin to take baby steps towards positive change.

Would you take a moment to leave a comment with any advice or help you might have to offer us? We’d be grateful. Let us know you are passionate too!

Brett Farmiloe, Pursue the Passion.

Thank you, Brett, for living your message. We’re a passionate group here.

Help is on the way.

We can change the world — just like that.
–ME “Liz” Strauss

If you’re ready to change the world, send me your thoughts in a guest post. Feel free to take the gorgeous Change the World image up there that Sandy designed back to your blog. Or help yourself to this one.

Change the World!.

Email me about what you’re doing or what we might do. Let’s change the world one bit at a time together. Together it can’t take forever.


  1. says

    Hi Brett

    As much as I admire and applaud your idea of passion path versus career path I do have one counter remark (based on personal experiences).

    I never trained to be an accountant (well, advanced bookkeeper more likely) when I started working (when I thought my passion was journalism, but wasn’t accepted onto the acadamy that year), but the guidance of one of my colleagues showed that I had a passion for facts and figures (ask me anything about statistics, I’m your man – sorry, woman ;-)).
    Still have.

    What I’m trying to say is that when your young it is more important to test out various jobs/tasks to see where your passion lays – it might be in a very different place than you first thought. And a ‘normal’ education – where the basics are taught – is very important.

    Just my 2p. I wish you and your team many pleasant couches and please bring back the most wonderful stories you no doubt will find.

  2. says

    Hi Brett-

    Very interesting thought. Here’s another counter-point for you- be careful about passion. :)

    I actually think that -passion- is over-rated. And searching for one’s passion in terms of a job or cause is can be a little dangerous and misleading.

    Here’s an article I wrote:
    Why less passion is better for business.

    It’s not what you might think. Take a read, and see if it informs your idea of ‘passion.’ I’m curious to hear.

  3. says

    Thanks for the responses and your opinions.

    Karin- You made a good point about how you “developed” your passion, and did so through the means of experience. I definitely fell victim to the situation you described, as testing out a job and finding that I was not passionate about it. Without that job, I don’t know if I could have determined the difference between feeling horrible about my work, or loving it.

    Mark- We have views that contradict.

    Now does anyone have some suggestions of WHO in America we can interview!!???

  4. says

    Brett, I’m in Texas. I’d suggest you look for some teachers. See who has won the state awards in areas you are travelling and hunt them down for interviews. These people have to be passionate to stay in their jobs–they surely aren’t motivated by money!

    As to your thoughts about passion. They are idealistic, but that’s ok. I happen to be an idealist myself.

    Lorelle at WordPress challenged me about passion. She said, “Mark, you have a lot of passion. Now you just need to find your mission.”

    I’m looking. I’m looking. Could it be my mission is just to love the people I encounter everyday and treat them right?

  5. says

    Quote: “My idea of changing the world is tapping into a powerful, yet largely ignored natural resource — passion — the passion of people who do what they love.”


    Brilliant. No one can change the world. They can only change themselves.

    I have discovered in my roller coaster life that I’m absolutely powerless when it comes to changing other people. I’ve also seen that if I make an attempt at changing myself, they change, too.

    The skeptics will call it ‘only my perception.’ That’s okay…. I can’t change them. But I’ve seen results. I’m quite comfortable with my (ex)deadliest enemies.

    You only get back what you give out. Love someone and at least they will not hate you. It’s written time and again in the history books, but that’s history :)

    How do you find your passion? That can take a lifetime (unless you’re Bill Gates).

    Brett, I’d say the key lies in education, coupled with exposure. I profoundly believe that everyone is born with an inherent (perhaps latent) talent. You just don’t know! I think that’s when you need the relevant exposure to the opportunities out there. Does that mean improving the information systems in colleges?

    The US has such a strong education infrastructure that I wonder what you’ll find there. I lived (in various capacities) and studied there five years, and since I’m from an Asian education system, I was stumped at the professionalism in the universities. To top it, given the democracy, the Americans know what thay want (at least they think they do.)

    “Pursue the Passion” is a very noble concept. And I do hope that you’ll be able to spread it out beyond the Americas.

  6. says


    Thanks for the comment. I’m extremely interested in the international scope of “Pursue the Passion,” and even more so at the collegiate level.

    The tour will be leading us to about 10 different college campuses to survey 1,000 students to get a perception on what is preventing young people from pursuing their passions, in addition to the advice we are receiving on how to be passionate about your work.

    I am extremely excited about this aspect of the tour, as it will provide us with a well rounded view on the topic.

  7. says

    I think your post regarding Pursue the Passion can be connected to the Right Brain/Left Brain post. At an early age, young kids find creativity stiffled mainly because teachers today cannot stand (or understand) it. We are told not to do something, play another instrument (not the one you want) because creativity is not important in education. The important value today is logic, reasoning, thinking-the left brain. Students progress through school, graduate high school, attend college (a lot of time it is the one their parents attended) and graduate to a job like the one their father has. It is logical to do as your parents did successfully. Children of all ages are told repeatedly to do as their parents did. That is logical. What is not logical is that people want, they enjoy and are drawn to creativity. It may be a figure skating competition as an example. What about the person who composes the newest hit song? Directs a movie that garners multiple Oscar nominations? Sings an opera? Writes a book? This creativity is right brain. The identical thing that was panned in schoool. Now creativity can be the answer out of the hum drum logical job. You don’t see much coming from the job. You are not using the creativity that you inately possess. You look for an outlet. Could it be restoring a 1950 car? Now, you find something you are passionate about (restoration of old cars) and a new business that satisfies your creative side. Go for it. It does not matter that your family and friends think you are crazy to leave your safe dull job. This job challenges you. It gives you passion. The world needs more people who have a passion to help people (in any way possible). Out of small ideas and steps comes big answers.

  8. says

    I think you should take that comment home to your blog as a blog post. It is wonderful and so passionate. Right on the money, as far as I am concerned.

    What good is your head if it’s not connected to your heart?

  9. says

    I love Elizabeth’s post. There is not enough importance placed on creativity in education, and professors are certainly not rewarded for encouraging it. There are the few that do go against the grain, and those are the type of professors we need.

    Excellent post.

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