Some passions are hobbies, not professions

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Whether or not to “follow your passion” can be a surprisingly controversial topic.

Mark Cuban, for example, thinks that following his passion is a “lie”. The owner of billionaire Dallas Mavericks said that it was more useful to pursue anything that you put a lot of effort and work into, because you are likely to be more successful at it, during an interview in 2017.

For Garrett Lerner and Russel Friend, the question does not have such an easy answer. The longtime writing partners and executive producers of NBC’s new drama, “Ordinary Joe,” which premieres September 20, have followed their passion to pursue a career in film. It seems to have worked for them: Previously, the couple’s co-executive produced hit shows like NBC’s “Glee” and Fox’s “House”.

But Lerner and Friend both say their careers could have gone very differently. In college, Lerner told CNBC Make It he wanted to work in sports – until an internship at a sports company left him dissatisfied and disillusioned. Writing and filming, another passion, had a different effect on him – the more he did it the more he loved it, which is how he finally realized that this could be a viable career. for him.

“Some passions are meant to be hobbies. Some passions are meant to be professions,” Lerner explains. Being able to tell the difference relatively quickly is essential, he adds, “because if you find yourself stuck in a profession that you realize should have been a hobby, you could tire yourself out very quickly. “.

This concept is at the center of their new show, which imagines three parallel lives for the character of Joe Kimbreau (played by James Wolk) if he chooses radically different careers: the frontman of a rock band, a nurse working in the cemetery. in a hospital and a New York City Police Officer.

Lerner and Friend say they allow Kimbreau to make his dream of being a famous and successful musician come true, especially to explore what happens if that dream ends up being a disappointment.

“Does that define happiness, or not?” Lerner said.

Following a dream can certainly be a double-edged sword. A 2018 Stanford study found that telling people to “follow your passion” causes them to think their passion will be easy, forcing them to put in less effort and making them less successful.

Lerner and Friend say their new show is based on the idea that whatever path you choose, you can have a fulfilling life. Ultimately, “whatever path you choose is not over,” Lerner says. “We are capable of growing, of changing and of changing course. “

“Wherever you are, it’s kind of where you should be,” Friend adds. “No life is necessarily better than another.”

Ordinary joe“premieres Monday, Sept. 20 at 9/9 C on NBC.

Disclosure: NBCUniversal is the parent company of NBC and CNBC.

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