10 essential steps to get to the top of your field are 9 steps too many

Via a post on Zen Habits I find 10 Essential Steps To Get To The Top Of Your Field. The article recommends the obvious: learn, learn, learn, practice, practice, practice.

But the essential step to “getting to the top of your field” is none of the things that the article lists in boldface. The essential step to “getting to the top of your field” is a much more difficult one: choosing a line of work that you genuinely enjoy, something that you are truly passionate about.

If you really enjoy what you do, you will naturally tend to practice more (because you will enjoy the process of practicing), you will naturally tend to seek more learning opportunities (because you will enjoy understanding every day a bit more about the field) and you will naturally seek contact with like-minded people that you can exchange ideas with (and get feedback from).

If you feel like you have to talk yourself into practicing and improving in your field, then consider that maybe this is not the right field for you. Maybe you’ve lost interest and now you should redirect your career elsewhere. Maybe you are simply a happy person satisfied with their career.

Remember that, after all, what will make you happy at your job is not “being at the top of your field”, but truly enjoying what you do. Everything else will follow.