Is following your passion dangerous?
Should you stop following your heart and just do what is practical?
There’s been a lot of talk lately about how following your passion won’t make you happy.
I both agree and disagree.
I think there’s too much focus on the surface and not enough focus on what’s beneath.
Because what is passion?
Why do we want to find and follow our passion?
What’s truly going on here?
In the video below, I dive into 5 things that make following your passion stupid, so enjoy, and remember to subscribe to me on YouTube for more upcoming videos.
If you don’t have time to watch the video, you’ll find a helpful text version below.
Keep in mind that the video and the text compliment each other, so I recommend you watch/read both.
Before we go deeper, we have to look at what passion is.
What is Passion?
Passion is a label.
It’s a word that points to something beyond it.
What I mean is that when you pick up a jar of peanut butter, there is a label on it that says peanut butter, but that label is not the creamy stuff that you’re looking for.
There are many words that are used synonymously with passion, such as:
Passion doesn’t necessarily mean your life will be easy, or that you find a shortcut to success. It means you do what you enjoy, while working hard at getting better.
Passion doesn’t have to be about a topic. For example, I’m passionate about improving what I do. I enjoy coming up with systems that help my readers and customers move forward.
I could do this in the online business space, in health, or another field. Before you do anything, look at your definition of passion. I talk a lot about this in my book, Find Your Passion.
When is Following Your Passion Stupid?
When people say following your passion is stupid, they aren’t really saying that passion is stupid. They’re saying that living in a fantasy world is stupid.
In other words, if you’re going after your passion and thinking that it’ll somehow make you happy, you’re on the wrong track.
Nothing outside of you can make you happy because happiness is a habit. To learn more about this, read the classic book Psycho-Cybernetics.
So if you’re trying to find the perfect passion, job, or business opportunity, you need to stop.
The Purpose of Following Your Passion
To me, this isn’t about following your passion, but living a life that you’re satisfied with. Passion is simply the term that makes sense for me when I explain it.
Some people won’t like the label passion, and that’s okay. This isn’t about the label, but what’s beneath.
What’s the ultimate purpose of following your passion? It’s to do work you enjoy. It’s about being happy, right here, right now.
No one wants to be trapped in a job they hate.
But you also have to remember that you may not find the “perfect” job. Doing work you love may begin by you using the job you have. It may start by you becoming better at what you do, and learning to appreciate where you are.
This isn’t about chasing happiness. This is about facing reality while listening to your inner GPS, and going where your interest takes you.
It’s also about being practical. If you’re currently stuck in a job you hate, there’s no need to quit to pursue your passion. You can use the security your job provides to build a business on the side.
The financial security will help you take more risks and to experiment.
I’m not here to protect the word passion, because it’s just one of many ways of explaining things.
So what should you do?
Do what resonates with you. If you don’t believe you can follow your passion, then don’t. Work with your beliefs and thought structures.
If passion as a label resonates with you, use it, but also remember to take things one step at a time.
We all have different ways of explaining things. There will always be people that are on the opposite sides of the spectrum.
I think all the authors that say following your passion is bad are valuable. They will reach different kinds of people.
This is not a question of either you follow your passion or you don’t. It’s about doing what interests you while being practical.
There’s a lot of conflicting advice out there. So stop trying to find the perfect path, and listen to yourself.
What do YOU want to do?
In the end, what matters is that you enjoy the journey you’re on.