It’s time we all take a good hard look at “following your passion” and why it’s ridiculous.
Raise your hand if you’ve been asked this:
What are you passionate about?
Have you found your passion?
Want to pay me money to help you uncover your passion?
I am constantly hearing “What are you passionate about?” and I literally search for an answer that I think will fit into the mold of what that person might think a suitable “passion” is.
Clean water? Education? Starving kids?
“WHAT DO THEY WANT TO HEAR?!?” I silently scream to myself.
Let’s stop this madness for a minute. Just like work/life balance, I believe the saying “find your passion and the money will follow” is a total myth. A saying designed to make us strive for something we can’t achieve and then feel bad about ourselves.
We don’t have to achieve work/life balance, nor do we have to morph our passion into a career or business. That’s not a box we need to lock ourselves in. As well, you don’t have to answer to anyone about what you are passionate about. It’s yours. It’s for you.
We do need to take care of ourselves in whatever means necessary, and to find other means of work if it’s soul crushing. But we don’t have to spend our days trying to make money with our passion.
So here’s my honest answer about my passion: I’m passionate about creating enough revenue that my husband can stop stressing about his student loan payments. That’s my passion – him. I’m passionate about creating a business that lets me be home with my babies whenever they need me. My passion? Them.
My “passion” is my family.
As a little girl and well into college, I wanted to be an Opera singer. I studied music in college and finally realized that being an Opera singer most likely meant waiting tables. While I loved my time at Joe’s Crab Shack, I didn’t want that to be my career trajectory.
Was music my passion? Of course it was! But why does that always have to translate in to what you get paid for? At the end of the day, most of our work boils down to deliverables and deadlines. There will always be parts of our work that aren’t so pleasant. Killing ourselves to make money at what we’re passionate about doesn’t make things easier on us.
I say let go of that stress.
Can you be passionate about your work without it being your passion?
I believe so.
I also believe that this question has left us feeling bad about what we are pursuing. As if being an accountant or a bartender is any less noble because your passion isn’t GAAPS or gin?
How about being passionate about being able to have a business that creates jobs for others, or bringing in a decent income in the evenings so you can be there when you precious child comes home from school?
How about being passionate about parasailing on the weekends, or taking salsa dancing lessons on Thursday nights? Why are we made to feel bad that our work isn’t exactly matched up with our passion
It’s OK to use your work as the vehicle to your passion. We shouldn’t be chasing our passion anyway, we should be solving a problem – if you happen to be passionate about that problem, jackpot!
Let’s let go of having to work on your “passion” and decide to be “passionate” about your work instead.
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