Finding a guiding principle

We’re pretty surrounded these days with methodologies on how to live life. The self books seem endless. One of the common themes in finding work happiness is following your passion. It’s good advice but also simplistic. If it were that easy, we’d all be enjoying daily bliss. I just finished a great talk by Bret Victor, a past Apple designer and now researcher. He was talking at an engineering conference in Canada where he spoke about it might not be enough to find your passion, you need to find a guiding principal, a responsibility, almost be an activist and dedicate yourself to fighting for a cause. He talked a bunch about a number of computer science pioneers such as Doug Engelbart, Alan Kay, Richard Stallman and Larry Tesler and how their work was more than just making money or finding a new market. All these guys’ activism occurred through inventing.  While the talk is targeted more to software engineers, I think it’s equally interesting for designers or anyone that builds software. If you don’t care for his ideas around guiding principles, you can skip the second half but still see some great demos on projects he’s working around immediate feedback tools for creatives.  The whole talk is about one hour, and well worth the time.

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