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In today’s post we will learn why following your passion is crappy advice. Are you passionate about your life? Your job? Your hobbies? What are you passionate about? How do you incorporate those passions into your life? These are important questions closely linked to your happiness and contentment and personal growth. There a lot of self help people around the world who would ask you to drop everything in your life in the pursuit of your passion, sorry that’s crappy advice. Do not do that unless you want to be a failure. The problem is that we don’t have much evidence that this is how passion works. “Follow your passion” assumes: a) you have preexisting passion, and b) if you match this passion to your job, then you’ll enjoy that job. So what should we do.
Don’t know what your passion is, here’s a post which can help > https://empress2inspire.blog/2019/04/01/the-secret-to-finding-your-passion/
“Cultivate your passion instead of following it.” “Follow” implies that you discover the passion in advance then go match it to a job. At which point, you’re done. “Cultivate” implies that you work toward building passion for your job. This is a longer process but it’s way more likely to pay dividends. It requires you to approach your work like a craftsman. Honing your ability, and then leveraging your value, once good, to shape your working life toward the type of lifestyle that resonates with you.
The biggest issue you can run into is semantic. When someone tells you, “don’t follow your passion,” you get upset because you think they are saying, “don’t follow the goal of being passionate about your work.” But that’s not what they are saying. Passion is great. You just don’t see a lot of evidence that passion is something existing naturally, waiting to be discovered. It takes hard work and planning to develop.
Steve Jobs, in his famous Stanford Commencement address, told the students (and I’m paraphrasing here): You’ve got to find what you love, don’t settle. If you read the press and social media that surrounded the event, it’s clear that many people interpreted this as him saying, “follow your passion.” If you go back into the details of his biography, however, you discover this is not what he did. He stumbled into Apple computer (it was a scheme to make a quick $1,000) at a time when he was “passionate” mainly about Eastern mysticism. But Jobs was open to opportunity. When he sensed that his scheme was bigger than he imagined, he pivoted and poured a lot of energy into building a company around selling computers. He cultivated passion. He didn’t follow it.
Here’s the key: there is no special passion waiting for you to discover. Passion is something that is cultivated. It can be cultivated in many, many different fields. Therefore, it doesn’t make sense to say, “I don’t know what my passion is.” What does make sense is to say, “I haven’t yet cultivated a passion, I should really focus down on a small number of things and start this process.”
Come back again tomorrow for more inspiration.