Pomp, Circumstance and Beyond–“You’ve got to find what you love.”

But you don’t have to find it today.

Steve Jobs -- "Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish" speech. Stanford 2005.

“Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish” Steve Jobs Stanford University Commencement speech–2005.

In June of 2005, Steve Jobs delivered his famous “You’ve got to find what you love” speech at Stanford University. A video and full text of that speech can be found under the Video tab of this website.

In 2005, Steve was talking about the importance of finding your passion in life. And I am sure that, in the past 11 years, his speech has inspired millions to search for that passion.

But you may be wondering, “What should I do NOW to find that passion?” A few days ago, an article in the New York Times (Graduating and looking for your passion? Just be patient) addressed that question and got me to thinking about how long it took me to find my passion. From the article:

If you’re relying on a commencement speaker to set your compass, you may still be confused at day’s end. In my experience, it’s common to hear “Follow your passion” from the podium. This is great counsel if, in fact, you know what that passion is. But what if you don’t?

At Auburn, I studied industrial engineering, where we're always looking for "the biggest bang for the buck."

At Auburn, I studied industrial engineering, always looking at “the big picture.”

In June of 1968, I graduated from Auburn University with a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering, during the height of the Vietnam War. And I had no idea what my “passion” was at the time. But it didn’t really matter, because my immediate future was already decided–by the United States government. All I had to decide was in which branch of the military I wanted to serve.

Forty-eight years ago today, I was somewhat happy that I didn’t have to make any huge career decisions. I had already applied to officer programs in the Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard and was almost certain that I would be serving in one of them by year’s end. And I was right–about seven months later, I was a newly-commissioned ensign in the U.S. Coast Guard, on my way to serve my three-year tour in Honolulu.

But what about finding that passion that Jobs talked about? As the Times article points out, that process started long before I graduated from college. As I read the article this morning, I was reminded of the career-forming decisions I had made in high school, in college, in the Coast Guard and in the first few jobs of my business career. The article featured three sections:

  1. Move toward what interests you.
  2. Seek purpose.
  3. Finish strong.
My three years in the Coast Guard were spent at USCG Base Honolulu in the shadows of Aloha Tower.

My three years with the Coast Guard in Honolulu played a huge part in my later career & life.

Looking back on my career, I could never have imagined back in 1968 that my passion would be working on the most important issue in the history of humanity: our food choices in the 21st century. The article inspired me to think about eight steps I have taken on my path to discovering and embracing that passion:

  1. Because I was comfortable with math and solving problems, I took advanced math courses in high school and chose to major in engineering in college.
  2. Because I liked “big picture” stuff more than details, I changed my college major from mechanical to industrial engineering at the end of my sophomore year.
  3. Wanting to broaden my perspective beyond engineering, while based in Honolulu, I earned an MBA at the University of Hawaii.
  4. Knowing that I liked solving problems more than I did sales, I left my first job as a sales engineer with Alcoa to become a consulting engineer with a consumer goods management consulting firm in 1972.
  5. Knowing that I wanted more continuity instead of an endless series of projects in my work, I left the consulting firm after nine years to become one of the division presidents of a Fortune 1,000 corporation in 1981.
  6. Knowing that I was not in love with the fashion industry where I was working, I ended up as an executive search consultant with my own firm in 1999–a career that has provided me with the freedom to explore other interests–for the past 17 years.
  7. Finally, after becoming curious about the optimal diet for humans in 2002, within six months, I realized that I had found my passion in life and that it drew heavily upon my personality, education, personal interests, sense of purpose and career.
  8. In May of 2003, after six months of studying the global feeding model, I had what I call my “blinding flash of the obvious–we’re eating the wrong food.”

Finally, I understood what Steve Jobs was talking about. I had found my passion and set about devoting 10,000 hours to that passion over the next thirteen years. Now, after publishing two books and over 900 articles on my website, the title on my business card reads: Writer. Speaker. Consultant. Activist. with the following tagline:

Promoting health, hope and harmony on planet Earth

Graduation DayHappy Graduation to all who will be walking to the tune of Pomp and Circumstance as you receive your diplomas this month. Hopefully, some of the information covered here will help you in your quest for finding your passion. For if you’re doing what you love, you’ll never have to work a day in your life.

One final bit of advice. Adopt a simple life, live within your means and beware of getting trapped by a high salary in a career you don’t enjoy. Keeping things simple now will raise your chances of finding what you love in the future. I didn’t find it until I was 58 years old–and I wouldn’t want to have it any other way.

Referenced in this piece:

The following six books can be purchased on Amazon for a grand total of less than $60—and will enable you to understand the overwhelming challenges we face—along with the single most-powerful solution of all.

Six-Pack from Hicks—for health, hope & harmony on planet Earth

  1. 4Leaf Guide to Vibrant Health, powerful new book by Kerry Graff, MD and yours truly
  2. Healthy Eating, Healthy WorldThe “big picture” about food (my first book)
  3. An essential scientific resource: The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell; the primary book that influenced Bill Clinton to adopt a whole food, plant-based diet.
  4. Primary cause of cancer is not bad luck. Stop Feeding Your Cancer, by John Kelly, MD
  5. A horrifying wake-up call for leaders. TEN BILLION by Dr. Stephen Emmott
  6. Food choices are the primary cause of our environmental problems, yet our world leaders, scientists & experts are Comfortably Unawareby Richard Oppenlander.

Why should we be eating mostly plants? The “big picture” in 4 minutes.

Want to find out how healthy you are eating? Take our free 4Leaf Survey. It takes about two minutes. eCornell is now using our survey in their plant-based nutrition course.

International. We’re now reaching people in over 100 countries. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter or get daily blog notices by “following” us in the top of the right-hand column. For occasional updates, join our periodic mailing list.

J. Morris Hicks, working daily to promote health, hope and harmony on planet Earth.

To order more of my favorite books—visit our online BookStore now For help in your own quest to take charge of your health, visit our 4Leaf Program website, which is now being used by an ever-growing army of enlightened medical doctors who are fed up with “disease care” and want to promote true health for their patients.

Got a question? Let me hear from you at jmh@4leafglobal.com

—J. Morris Hicks, board member since 2012; click banner for more info:

Nutrition Certificate

About J. Morris Hicks

A former strategic management consultant and senior corporate executive with Ralph Lauren in New York, J. Morris Hicks has always focused on the "big picture" when analyzing any issue. In 2002, after becoming curious about our "optimal diet," he began a study of what we eat from a global perspective ---- discovering many startling issues and opportunities along the way. In addition to an MBA and a BS in Industrial Engineering, he holds a certificate in plant-based nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, where he has also been a member of the board of directors since 2012. Having concluded that our food choices hold the key to the sustainability of our civilization, he has made this his #1 priority---exploring all avenues for influencing humans everywhere to move back to the natural plant-based diet for our species.
This entry was posted in Activism & Leadership, Big Picture and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Pomp, Circumstance and Beyond–“You’ve got to find what you love.”

  1. Jean says:

    Thanks for sharing your journey!

  2. John says:

    Very inspiring story. Thank you for sharing. John Prather

    Seeking the Power of the Pattern


  3. Bravo, Jim. I understand what you mean, for sure!!!!

  4. Kerry Graff says:

    Loved this, Jim! Kerry

    Sent from my iPhone


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