Don't Follow Your Dreams

Grant Sanderson, aka 3blue1brown, a mathematician and programmer who makes beautiful animated math videos, talks about what "Follow Your Dreams" misses, and some advice in his commencement speech at Harvey Mudd.

  • focus on adding value
    • "Success hinges on how effectively you're able to add value to others."
  • action precedes motivation
    • engage in activities and just do things even if you don't feel motivated initially. motivation follows action.
  • adapt and be flexible
    • "Treat passion not as a destination, but as a fuel, following not dreams, but opportunities."
    • be prepared to change directions based on new opportunities
  • seize current opportunities
    • "Ask yourself what's possible now that wasn't possible ten years ago, and which might get harder ten years from now."
    • identify and act on emerging opportunities that are less crowded
  • influence and encourage others
    • "Never underestimate just how much influence you can have on others, especially the ones who are younger than you are."
    • recognize the impact you can have on others, small acts of encouragement can significantly shape their paths (see Pygmalion effect)
  • think beyond yourself
    • pursue passions that extends beyond self-interest and focus on how they can benefit others. this makes for more meaningful success