"What the hell does passion mean?", says Cal Newport, nicely summarizing the thoughts that nag me whenever someone asks me what im passionate about or tells me to follow my passion. I thought I had a rough idea that passion centered around interests, extra curricular activities, and what one does in free time.
In his book, "How to be a high school super star," Newport discusses how to get into one’s "dream" college without a stressful life leading up to admissions. In his opinion the key is to free you schedule and spend that free time doing something you enjoy. That devotion and interest shows when it comes time to apply to colleges and colleges appreciate the deviation from the cookie cutter, "well-rounded" and often burnt out applicant.
This devotion and interest is most often categorized as passion. But Newport goes further to explain what passion really is saying, that it’s not passion that matters but "genuine interest". Fake "passion" engineered for admissions is easy to see through; it’s the kind of interest that stems from personal choices that admissions officers appreciate when it shines through a person’s personality and interactions.