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(keyboard typing) Hi, I'm Michael. This is Lessons from the Screenplay. 10 years ago, Game of Thrones premiered on HBO and went on to become television's must-watch series. In the show's final seasons, every episode was a major cultural event. Millions of dedicated fans tuned in, reacted online, made predictions about the fate of their favorite characters and obsessed over the rich history and lore of the storyworld. And while the show's disappointing conclusion tarnished it for many fans, the series as a whole was an unmitigated success. Ever since, discovering the next Game of Thrones has been the Holy Grail of television. What intellectual property, what idea or premise has the potential to resonate on such a massive scale and become the next must-watch TV phenomenon. All of this was on my mind while standing in line at a coffee shop a few years ago when I casually ran an idea by my writing partner, Alex Calleros, who you might know from our podcast Beyond the Screenplay. Alex and I have been making movies together ever since film school. The idea was this, what if our favorite video game trilogy of all time, Mass Effect, was a Game of Thrones-style TV show. It began as a simple thought experiment, but the more Alex and I talked about it, the more we realized that the science fiction epic could make for an incredible series. So between creating videos for Lessons from the Screenplay and Story Mode and working on an original feature film script, we started developing a long-form adaptation of Mass Effect. Before long we'd outlined a pilot episode along with the character arts for the first season. We kept going. We broke down the major turning points in each game of the trilogy and mapped the full story across five seasons. We did a deep dive into the lore of Mass Effect to imagine the rich and fascinating storyworld a long-form television series could explore. And then, this happened. Henry Cavill, most famous for his roles as gamer and PC builder, teased a secret project on Instagram sparking rumors that he'd been cast in a movie adaptation of Mass Effect. The news wasn't particularly surprising. Legendary Pictures acquired the film rights way back in 2010, but the rumors of a Mass Effect movie were disappointing because we think trying to cram all the depth and richness of the Mass Effect games into a single film or even a series of films is a huge missed opportunity. So today we want to demonstrate why Mass Effect can and should be the next Game of Thrones. We'll start by analyzing the first season of Game of Thrones to understand six essential story elements that helped make it such an exceptional series. And then we'll share our vision for a Mass Effect TV adaptation to demonstrate how and why it has the potential to be the next great television phenomenon. If you want to jump ahead to Mass Effect, there are chapter markers for each section and time codes in the description. Let's take a look at Game of Thrones and Mass Effect. (tense music) When Alex and I first started thinking about how to adapt Mass Effect into a TV show, one of the first things we did was study season one of Game of Thrones. The show has all the basic story elements found in any TV show, but it takes each of these elements a step further. The Game of Thrones pilot quickly establishes the show's genre. There are kings and queens, castles and dungeons, dragons and magic. All the hallmarks of fantasy, but it's also a brutally realistic world. (sword smashes) (blood sputters) And the cutthroat politics of Westeros, no character is safe. Every action can and does result in serious, often fatal, consequences. Game of Thrones evolves beyond its classic fantasy tropes, twisting the genre to feel adult and modern and hooking viewers who might otherwise be uninterested. So Game of Thrones offers a unique take on its genre, and part of what makes Game of Thrones feel so real is the incredibly rich well thought-out storyworld of George RR Martin's novels. From the very first episode, we feel like we're dropping into a moment in history. It's been 16 years since a war for the throne reshuffled the power dynamics of Westeros and all the show's main characters are where they are as a result of this conflict. But the intricate history of this world goes far deeper. It includes the diverse laws and customs of each region, the reputation of each noble house and the rivalries between them. All this detailed world-building isn't just there for super fans who want to go deep into the lore, go watch Alt Shift X. It also serves a dramatic purpose. Each player in the Game of Thrones is constrained, influenced and driven by the fraught complicated history that led to this moment. So Game of Thrones has a storyworld with a dramatic purpose. But an interesting storyworld only goes so far unless viewers have a narrative reason to keep watching. To keep an audience hooked season after season, you need a strong dramatic question. The dramatic question of Game of Thrones, who will sit on the Iron Throne and rule over the Seven Kingdoms drives the major conflicts of the show and isn't resolved until the final episode of the series. But the show goes a step further, adding a ticking clock that threatens to upend everything. Winter is coming and with it, the invasion of the terrifying undead White Walkers. This impending existential threat complicates the dramatic question and gives the show a trajectory. Game of Thrones is not an open-ended story. At some point, winter is going to come and with it, the ultimate reckoning for our characters. This is a great setup, even if the payoff in the final season was disappointing. So Game of Thrones has a dramatic question with a ticking clock. And despite what David Benioff said, the dramatic question of Game of Thrones is actually anchored in a very compelling theme: "Can honorable men or women rule if you must be dishonorable to gain power?" This timeless theme is why the answer to the dramatic question will be meaningful. It's not just about who will win the game of Thrones. It's how they will win it. I did warn you not to trust me. So Game of Thrones has a compelling and relevant theme. But ultimately, any TV show is only as great as its characters. Game of Thrones impressively integrates essential story elements into its character web. Each main character in season one either has a claim to the throne, is working for someone with a claim to the throne, or has a meaningful connection to one of those two. So they all have a stake in the dramatic question of who will sit on the Iron Throne. The characters also represent the values and perspectives of the different regions, cultures, and noble houses of the storyworld. That means every relationship, every interaction, and every betrayal isn't just personal. There are political ramifications that ripple out into the world. And finally, the various characters also express different takes on the theme. In season one, Ned Stark and Cersei Lannister embody the opposing sides of the show's thematic tension. When Ned discovers the heir to the throne as illegitimate, he tries to do the honorable thing, to protect the queen and her children. Go as far away as you can, with as many men as you can. But Cersei sees Ned's honor as a weakness and takes advantage of the situation to gain the upper hand. When you play the Game of Thrones, you win or you die. The fact that only one of them makes it to season two says a lot about the world of Game of Thrones. So the characters are enhanced by tying them to the dramatic question, storyworld and theme resulting in an integrated character web. Finally, there's the obvious, but perhaps most crucial element behind the show's cultural impact, its format. The plot of the first season corresponds to the first book in George RR Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series, and because the story is told across 10-hour long episodes, the audience can experience every twist and turn of the novel. Over the course of the seven seasons that followed, viewers had time to get to know every inch of the storyworld, understand its complex politics and watch a cast of fascinating characters undergo dramatic changes. Imagine trying to condense the third season of Game of Thrones into a single two hour movie. You could make a satisfying movie about two unlikely travel companions becoming friends or about a warrior with a secret mission, falling in love with the enemy, or a queen freeing an army of slaves, or a king choosing love over obligation and paying the ultimate price, but you could not make a satisfying movie about all of those things. The power of the narrative and its cultural significance are amplified by long-form storytelling. Okay. So, Mass Effect. (exciting music) Mass Effect is a popular video game series beloved for its rich sci-fi storyworld, compelling cast of characters and cinematic storytelling. And as Alex and I discovered while adapting the story for television, it also contains all the same elements that make Game of Thrones so special. Let's take a look at how each of those elements would function in our vision for a Mass Effect TV show. Mass Effect is a sweeping science-fiction epic that follows the crew of the SSV Normandy as they raced to stop a galactic threat. The games offer a unique take on the sci-fi genre by effortlessly combining and remixing several sub-genres. Mass Effect has all the elements of a space opera, sci-fi, fantasy like Star Wars, romantic adventure, massive space battles, and characters with extraordinary abilities. It has the nuanced science fiction of Star Trek evoking a spirit of scientific discovery and using the genre to explore complex ethical dilemmas. And it has the exciting military sci-fi action of aliens in Edge of Tomorrow. This unique blend of sub-genres creates an experience that feels both familiar and fresh and helps to forge a fascinating storyworld. As Alex and I discovered going down rabbit holes on the 4,000 page Mass Effect Wiki, a TV adaptation of Mass Effect will be able to draw from a deep and fraught history just like Game of Thrones. Mass Effect also begins and the aftermath of a war which has shaped the characters and conflicts of the storyboard. According to the game's history, when humans discover interstellar travel in the mid 22nd century, they make contact with an advanced alien race, the Turians, and inadvertently spark a war. This first contact war comes to an abrupt end with an intervention by the Citadel Council, the ruling body of a vast galactic civilization populated by many alien races. Humans realize that they are newcomers in a 2000-year old interstellar society. The alien races of the galaxy view humanity with increasing concern as the powerful human military colonizes planet after planet accumulating resources and influence at a breakneck speed. You humans are eager to take all the power you can get. Don't expect the rest of us to just sit back and let you take it. But the politics of Mass Effect are more complex than Humans versus Aliens. All the alien races have complicated histories with irreconcilable conflicts that date back hundreds or thousands of years. This complex political environment leads to territorial disputes and skirmishes, politicians competing for galactic power and shadow organizations using espionage and terrorism to advance the interests of their species. As the show begins, humanity is on a mission to gain a seat on the powerful Citadel Council in order to have a say in galactic affairs and to protect its colonies, but as newcomers, humans have no allies leading some to believe that humanity should abandon diplomacy and seize power by any means necessary. So humanity is faced with a choice. Introducing the show's dramatic question: will humans forge alliances and cooperate to bring the galaxy together or seek to dominate the galaxy through strength? But like in Game of Thrones, there's a time limit on the dramatic question. Season one of Mass Effect will unravel the mystery of the Protheans, an ancient civilization that mysteriously vanished thousands of years ago. And by the end of the season, we learn why. They were annihilated by an unfathomably powerful race of machines called the Reapers. The Reapers sweep through the galaxy every 50,000 years to harvest all advanced organic life and time is almost up. The looming threat of the Reapers gives the show a ticking clock and a clear trajectory. At some point, the invasion will begin and no species, planet or character will be safe, which leads us to the theme of Mass Effect: Can a divided galaxy come together to survive an existential threat? This theme is directly connected to the dramatic question. Humanity could play the role of galactic mediator to unite the alien races against the Reaper threat, or humanity could soak further distrust and division in its quest for galactic dominance, making collective action against the Reapers impossible. This thematic tension is at the core of every conflict in Mass Effect and it also happens to be a theme that resonates with our world in the 21st century. Can people with historical grievances and irreconcilable differences come together to face existential threats? All these elements, storyworld, dramatic question and theme set the stage for a compelling science fiction drama that feels relevant to our times. Okay. So mass fact has the story fundamentals you need to make a great TV show, but as I mentioned earlier, it's really famous for its amazing cast of characters. Fans are obsessed, like obsessed, obsessed. So what's so special about the characters in Mass Effect? Can they make for a good character web and a TV show? And what does Emily Blunt have to do with any of it? The protagonist of Mass Effect is Commander Shepard of the Human Alliance Military. In the game, the player can choose their Shepherd's gender. So the protagonist of a Mass Effect TV show could be either male or female. Alex and I have enjoyed using Emily Blunt character in Edge of Tomorrow as a stand in for what our Shepard could look and feel like. The player can also choose between different backstory options for Shepard, which we've adapted to fit the show's theme and dramatic question. Shepard is a Spacer, part of the first generation of humans who have grown up entirely aboard star ships and space stations. As a result, she feels more at home in a diverse galactic society than her earth-born peers, but she's also being used by human politicians as a kind of Captain America propaganda symbol hailed as a war hero who represents Earth's strength and resilience. The problem is she doesn't necessarily believe in the earth-first values politicians are pressuring her to represent. So Shepard is directly struggling with the dramatic question. Beyond Shepard, season one of the show would focus on the crew of the SSV Normandy, politicians vying for power on the Citadel and rogue aliens attacking human colonies. Like in Game of Thrones, Mass Effect integrates essential story elements into its character web. Wrex and Garrus demonstrate how the intergalactic conflicts of the storyworld become personal on the Normandy. Wrex is a Krogan, an aggressive species built like tanks who hold a deep grudge against Turians for their role in an ongoing genocide, but aboard the Normandy, Wrex has to work alongside Garrus, a Turian. Tali and Liara wrestle with the show's theme on an individual level, would you sacrifice your personal goals and responsibilities for the greater good. For the introverted Liara, it's a matter of giving up her life as a solitary archeologist. For Tali, it means abandoning her dwindling tight-knit culture, and Ashley and Kaidan, both soldiers in the Alliance Military, have very different perspectives on the dramatic question. Ashley distrusts all aliens and believes humanity must watch out for itself, while Kaidan, who was trained as a child soldier, doesn't trust humanity to wield power responsibly. So as commander of the Normandy, Shepard is tasked with getting all these humans and aliens to cooperate, placing her at the center of the show's theme: can a divided galaxy come together to survive an existential threat, which finally brings us to the format. This whole time we've been arguing for Mass Effect as a TV show, but could it be a movie? And the answer is, of course. A Mass Effect movie could be a lot of fun. Movies tend to have bigger budgets, which has historically meant they have been the only way to pull off big epic visual effects-filled spectacles, although that is quickly changing and those limitations are starting to disappear. Movies are great at telling a focused psychological story about a hero. And if you want a simple three-act story about a Commander Shepard that shoots his way to victory, a movie is the way to go, but that's not what we want from Mass Effect. We want a Mass Effect that doesn't try to reduce the moral complexities of the games to fistfights and explosions. We want a Mass Effect that lets us all discuss and wrestle with its ideas and themes and an ongoing way. We want a Mass Effect that lets us be with each character for every step of their journey and gives us time to get to know and fall in love with them. We want a Mass Effect that lets us soak in the intricacies of a vast storyworld and invites us to ponder its ethical dilemmas. We want a Mass Effect that can pay off years of investment with major turning points that deliver the kind of emotional catharsis only possible in long-form storytelling. In other words, we want Mass Effet to be the next Game of Thrones, but you know, with a better ending. As you can tell, we've thought a lot about how Mass Effect could be a TV show, and honestly, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to all the work Alex and I put into adapting Mass Effect in creating a pitch for the series. It's the passion project that has inspired us to study the best storytellers in film, television and video games to better grasp how to translate our favorite game series to the screen. Alex and I had a lot of fun to finally getting to share all of this with you guys. So I hope you enjoyed. Thank you for watching and I'll see you next time. This video is sponsored by Mubi. Mubi is unique among all the streaming services because it features a curated selection of exceptional films from all around the globe. Every day, Mubi premiers a new film and each and every one of them is hand selected. It might be a timeless classic, a cult favorite or an acclaimed masterpiece. What I love about Mubi is that I can watch a bunch of great movies I've heard of but never seen, and even better, I can watch a bunch of great movies I've never heard of. Mubi is a great way to expand your knowledge of cinema and you can try Mubi for free for 30 days at mubi.com/LFTS There'll be supporting this channel and getting a month of great cinema for free. Thanks to Mubi for sponsoring this video. Thanks to our patrons for making this channel possible and thank you for watching.
We spend most of our youth in an educational system that tests us on our ability to do well in just a handful of things. This causes many of us to grow up thinking that we lack the talent and the intellect to succeed in life. When in reality, it might be because we were simply being tested on things that we don't have an affinity for. Today I'm going to go over the 11 abilities that exist in life. If you're someone who worries about finding their passion, watch this video till the very end. Because you'll gain an understanding of where your strengths lie – which will give you an idea of which direction you should go. Now just to clarify, when I use the word ability, I'm talking about two things. These are things that you have a natural interest in. And these are things that you probably already excel at – even if it's just slightly more than the average person. It's also important to note that although natural talent exists – practice and gaining experience equates to at least half of the mastery for any of these abilities. This means that with enough effort and hard work, you can still become pretty good at any of the 11. With that being said, let's jump right into it. _____________________________________________________________________________ Starting off we have Musical Ability. People who score high in this category enjoy listening to music, may learn better by listening, and have a sharp sense for what sounds pleasant to the ear. This means that they have a knack for rhythm, tones, melody, and can often memorize and replicate pieces of music quickly. If you have a strong affinity for music then it probably means that you are good at playing musical instruments, singing, or even composing music. And although this is often a skill set that society dismisses as just a hobby – there are many career paths for people that excel in this ability. This includes becoming a music-related content creator, working on audio for films and videos, composing and writing music, and working on sound design in general. ____________________________________________________________________________ Next up we have Natural Ability. People who score high in this category usually enjoy spending time in nature, love plants and animals, and they understand how the different compounds and elements in the world interact with each other. This means that they have a knack for survival skills. They can identify individual plants and species ,understand how animals behave, and they know how everything in nature is connected. Possible career paths for someone who scores high in Natural Ability include cooking, farming, working with animals, working with medicine, and even working in health. Because everything related to our body is technically part of nature. And they can also work in any field related to the environment. _____________________________________________________________________________ The next category on our list is Movement Ability. People who score high in this ability enjoy moving their bodies, whether it's large explosive movements or even the tiniest and most fine-tuned of movements. They have the powerful ability to control individual muscles in their body, allowing them to do amazing things that often deemed impossible for the average person. The great thing about this category is that it's heavily tied to practice. Repeating a movement literally strengthens your neuron's ability to fire in that way. Which allows you to repeat that move faster and more accurately over time. Possible career paths for someone who enjoys and excels at movement are the sports, dance, fine craftsmanship, personal training, and even martial arts. _____________________________________________________________________________ Next up, we have Interpersonal Ability. People who have an affinity for this have a deep understanding of the relationships between people. They can quickly read someone's body language and get an idea of how they are feeling - and they are usually good at holding conversations. They understand human nature and how people interact with each other. Possible career paths for someone who has a knack for this ability include sales, creating social content (like interviews and talk shows), event planning, relationship counseling, and even working in law enforcement. Because they need to be able to read people. ____________________________________________________________________________ Similar to Interpersonal Ability is our next category, which is called Intrapersonal Ability. People who have an affinity for this have a deep understanding of themselves. They know how to look in the mirror to spot what needs work, allowing them to reflect and adjust. This is an extremely powerful ability that is crucial for self-improvement. Because the only way you can improve is if you can identify what you need to work on in the first place. Now there aren't too many occupations that focus mainly on intrapersonal ability. It's something that helps you work on yourself. But professions like therapists, self-improvement coaches, and motivational speakers fall under this category to some degree. _____________________________________________________________________________ Up next we have Logical Ability. People who fall under this category can reason well. They may have some interest in math and the sciences. But most importantly they are interested in the truth. They act on reason more than emotion. Often feeling like the correct answer is more important than whats morally right. People who score high in this category are excellent at solving technical problems and can usually predict whether or not something will work with reasonably high accuracy. These people usually make great investors, scientists, inventors, entrepreneurs. This is actually the one of the few strengths that will increase your chances of success regardless of what career path you go down. Because it allows you to differentiate from right and wrong. _____________________________________________________________________________ Now that we're halfway through the list. I'd like to take a second and quickly tell you about how you can figure out which one of these abilities you should focus on. See, there are certain things that we grow up liking, certain things that we naturally gravitated towards when we were kids and still do to some degree. In order to see where your passions genuinely lie, you have to expose yourself to a wide range of things to see what catches your attention. Which is why this episode was brought to you with the help of the guys at Curiosity Stream. Curiosity Stream is like the documentary version of netflix. They have thousands of streamable documentaries and non-fiction tv shows on topics like history, nature, science, food, travel, and much much more. By looking at their selection you should find yourself naturally being pulled in a particular direction. Certain subjects interesting you more than others. And this should give you a good idea of where your passions might lie. Go to www.curiousitystream.com/pill to sign up for just 14.99$ for the entire year. That's right it's not 14.99$ per month, it's 14.99$ for the whole year. Which means that you're paying close to a just 1$ per month to gain access to thousands of high quality documentaries. I highly recommend you to check it out if you want to find your passion and if you want to help support the channel. _____________________________________________________________________________ Now back to the topic at hand, next up we have Linguistic Ability. People who excel in this category have a deep understanding of their language and the emotions that come with certain words. They are often articulate and they usually have a vast vocabulary. They typically enjoy reading and listening to great speakers. But most importantly - they know how to craft messages in an engaging way - making them more influential than the average person. People who have a knack for Linguistic Abilities can become writers, speakers, poets, copywriters, or even translators. ____________________________________________________________________________ Up next is Digital Ability. This is one of the newer abilities on this list because the digital world has only really risen in popularity in the last decade or so. Most people who fall under this category are the younger generations as they've grown up with the digital world being a huge part of their life. They have a deep understanding how the digital world works. Social media, SEO, marketing, memes, going viral are all things that fall under this category. Which is why occupations related to this ability are endless. Quite frankly anything that can be done online requires some degree of digital ability. And the demand for people with these skills is only going to increase year after year as more and more business is conducted online. If you'd like to learn more about my experience with the digital world you can check out a fun video about my journey which I'll include in the description box below. ____________________________________________________________________________ Up next, we have Visual Ability. People who score high in this category have a deep appreciation for the aesthetics. This means they can spot what looks pleasant to the eye. They can tell which color combinations and what shapes look good. They can also visualize and imagine complex images in their head. Often allowing them to recreate these images on paper. Possible career paths include architects, illustrators, animators, fashion designers, and graphic designers for all sorts of things. ____________________________________________________________________________ Next on our list is Teaching Ability. People who score high in this category can take complicated subjects and deliver them in such a clear way that even young kids can understand. They can spot what someone is doing right or wrong for the field that they specialize in. And most importantly, they gain a deep sense of satisfaction from seeing their students grow. Possible career paths for those that fall under this category are teaching, consulting, creating educational content, and even parenting. ____________________________________________________________________________ And finally, we have Spiritual Ability – which is a very unique category as it's something that almost everyone gains interest in as they age. Because it's the ability to think about the bigger questions in life. Like what happens after we die. What's the meaning of life. Is there god? Things like that. People who are fascinated by this category can become philosophers, pastors or monks, or might just spend a lot of time thinking about these things. There aren't that many occupations that require a specialty in this ability. ____________________________________________________________________________ Now, most people have an affinity for more than one of these 11 abilities. But you must figure out which ones interest you the most. And then try to think about what career paths make use of those abilities. This will allow you to make a good living while doing something that you're actually interested in, which will make your work life more fun and enjoyable. Let me know in the comments down below which 3 of the 11 resonate with you the most. I'm really curious to hear what you think your passions might be. Besides that guys stay tuned.
Translator: Angelina Babinova Reviewer: Aari Lemmik The day I got laid off from my job at Martha Stewart, I was relieved. (Laughter) I loved the job, I really did. But the relationship was over and I didn't know how to end it and then it broke up with me. Don’t you love it when that happens? At the time I’ve been also hosting a radio show for the Martha Stewart brand on Sirius XM. And then not long after that got cancelled, too. On the day of my last show I got onto the elevator at the 36th floor and as it started to drop, I started to cry. Every floor took me further and further from what I had been: a magazine editor, a radio host, the person with the cool job to talk about at parties. You know. And honestly I had no idea what I was going to do. And quite frankly no one was looking for me. So, I did what anyone would do in that situation. I was making some phone calls: “Hey, what are you up to? Did I mention I’m available?” I needed to get paid to do something, right. I mean I live in New York City. If you’re not paid to do something, you’re not going to be there very long. But this idea that I had to know what I suppose to do now, right. I’m supposed to pursue this passion. It’s just bugged me. It always had. And that’s because it’s a dangerously limiting idea at the heart of everything we believe about success and life in general. And it’s that you have one singular passion and your job is to find it and to pursue it to the exclusion of all else. And if you do that everything will fall into place and if you don’t you failed. The pressure starts really young and it goes your whole life, but it’s perhaps most pronounced when you’re graduating from school, right. After this, “Wow, the world's at your feet! What are you going to do now?” And it’s so intimidating, it's like picking a major for life. You know, I had a hard enough time picking a major for four years and I changed that once, if not twice. I mean it was like just intimidating, right? And this compelling I mean this really, you know, forceful cultural imperative to choose your passion, it’s stressful to me, but it’s not just me, it’s everyone I talk to agrees with me. The woman who sold me this dress. I told her what I needed the dress for, what I was talking about and she said, “Oh my gosh, I really need to hear this talk, because I just graduate from school. My friends and I we don’t know what we’re passionate about, we don’t know what we supposed to do.” I’m leery of passion for a few reasons. But one of them is that passion is not a plan, it’s a feeling. And feelings change. They do. You can be passionate about a person one day, a job, and then not passionate the next. We know this and yet we continue to use passion as the yardstick to judge everything by, instead of seeing passion for what it really is: the fire that ignites when you start rubbing sticks together. Anyway, I was such a mess when I was in my twenties, such a mess. I was anxious and depressed and had no life to speak of, I was temping to keep my options open, and I was sitting around at night in my underwear watching Seinfeld reruns. Actually I still do that, that’s not the worst thing in the world to do. It’s fine. But I called my mother every night crying and I was turning away perfectly good full-time jobs. Why? Because I was afraid. I was sure that I would pick the wrong one and get on the wrong train headed to the wrong future. My mother begged me, she said, “Please, take a job, any job. You’re not going to be stuck, you’re stuck now! You don’t create your life first, and then live it. You create it by living it, not agonizing about it.” She’s right, she’s always right. And so I took a full-time job as an assistant at a management consulting firm, where I knew nothing about nothing. Okay. Zero. Except I knew I had a reason to get up in the morning, get showered, leave the house, people who were waiting for me when I got there and I got a paycheck every two weeks. And that is as good a reason to take a job as any. Did I know that I want to be an office administrator for the rest of my life? No! I had no idea! Truly! But this idea that everything you're supposed to do should fit into this passion vertical is unrealistic. And I’ll say it - elitist. You show me someone who washes windows for a living and I will bet you a million dollars it’s not because he has a passion for clean glass. One of my favourite columns is a piece by Dilbert creator Scott Adams. He wrote a piece in The Wall Street Journal a few years ago, about how he failed his way to success. And one of his jobs was a commercial loan officer. And he was taught specifically: "Do not loan money to someone following their passion." (Laughter) No, loan it to someone who wants to start a business, the more boring, the better. (Laughter) Adam says that in his life success fueled passion more than passion fueled success. When I got my first job as a magazine editor, in publishing, I was thrilled. But I had to take pretty big pay cut, because at the time I’d been a catalogue copywriter at a wig company. (Laughter) Laugh if you will, clearly you are and many, many people did. But wigs paid. So I had to figure out a way to make some money. A friend of mine invited me to a jewelry party I said, "What is a jewelry party?" She said, “It’s like Tupperware but with bracelets.” I said, “Okay, got it, got it.” I went and I had the best time. I was there hanging out, trying on jewelry, the salespersons having a great time and I was like, "That’s a job. I could... I could do that." I mean, really, she seems to be having a great time. Now, I had no background in sales, unless you count Girl Scouts, and I was terrible. And I had no passion for jewelry. I mean, honestly, my earrings cost 20 $. Combined, all of them. And yet I was like, "I think I can sling silver jewelry to suburban moms drinking daiquiris. Yes, I could do that." And so I did it, I signed up, I became a Silpada Designs rep. And I… Listen to me, I was not setting a world on fire right away. Really. I was so awkward and afraid of selling. And then I got better, I got better, I started making some money, I started getting really passionate about it. Not just because of the money, but because what I realized was people wanted the stuff. They were happy to pay for it. I sold so much jewelry that year I won a free trip to Saint Thomas. (Laughter) It’s true. I eventually let my jewelry business go, because my career path shifted. But I was so glad that I did that. Because it planted an entrepreneurial seed I didn’t know was there. And that bears fruit to this day. Now as you know an entire cottage industry has sprung up around helping people find their passions, right. Books, coaching, webinars, whatever. And their hearts in the right place, it’s great, I’m all about self-discovery. Okay. But when you ask someone, or you’re asked like, "What’s your passion?" It’s triggering. It’s like, "Oh my god, I have to came out with a good answer for this." One of my friends in her mid-forties and she’s looking what’s her life going to be now. And she’s like, “I don’t know what I’m passionate about.” And she’s legitimately concerned about this. She’s ready to hire a team of people. It’s like, why are we worrying about this? You know why, because she thinks something wrong with her. I thought something was wrong with me when I was in the seventh grade and everyone was really into like the rock-bands and their actors and they would carve the names of those bands in a tables in a library. And I never carved anything, because I couldn’t think of anything to carve. I mean I liked Bon Jovi as much as the next girl, but not enough to deface school propriety, you know. (Laughter) It’s probably why I don’t have any tattoos either. I’m assuming that’s why. I was really boring, I thought something was wrong with me. But that’s the fear, isn’t it? That when someone asks you at a party, on a date, at a job interview, "What are you passionate about?" That you're not going to have this wow compelling answer. And that means that you’re not interesting, or ambitious, or that you don’t have a singular obsession or scary talent that you hiding. And that your life isn’t worth living. And it’s not true. Passion is not a job, a sport, or a hobby. It is the full force of your attention and energy that you give to whatever is right in front of you. And if you’re so busy looking for this passion, you could miss opportunities that change your life. You could also miss out on a great love. Because that’s what happens when you have tunnel vision, trying to find the One. We all think we know the kind of person we are and the kind of person we could love. But sometimes we’re wrong. Blissfully wrong. And sometimes you don’t know what you're going to do next, right? I mean, I don’t. I love not knowing what I’m going to be doing five years from now or I will be into. And that’s okay, it’s okay not to know. You know why? Because the most fulfilling relationships, the most fulfilling careers are those that still have the power to surprise you. And as for the things you know you want to do. You want to write a book, you want to start a business, you want to change careers. Great! But if you’re sitting around waiting for passion to show up and take it, you’re going to be waiting a long time. So don’t wait. Instead, spend your time and attention solving your favourite problems. Look for problems that need solving. Be useful, generous. People will thank you, and hug you and pay you for it and that’s where passion is. Where your energy and effort meets someone else’s need. That’s when you realize: passion lives, and realizing what you have to contribute. Why do you think when we’re asking people what they’re passionate about, they say, "Helping other people."? So don’t wait. Listen to my mother. Just start doing. Because to live a life full of meaning and value you don’t follow you passion, your passion follows you. Thank you. (Applause)