Don't Follow Your Passion
Are you passionate about your job? Do you think finding and pursuing your passion is the best idea for your career? We've long heard the platitude of following one's passion, and while it comes from good intentions, this is a completely irresponsible advice. I am a very passionate person and behind a lot of what I have accomplished stands my deep-rooted passion, so it might sound disingenuous to say that "follow your passion" is a horrible advice. However, the problem is that a lot of people have misconception on what it truly means to have a passion. Passion is not just something that sparks in your mind temporarily, and there's more depth to it. So, for a successful career, it is safer and more effective to cultivate your passion rather than just following what you think you love. To do so, you need to know a valid concept of passion that leads to success, put in long hours of work and effort to find what your true passion is, and keep a balance between what you love to do and what you are good at.
The idea of following your passion can mislead you to think that you have a one true calling and that you have to dedicate your whole life to discover and follow it, and your work life will become failure otherwise. The problem is that most people don't have passion that preexisted inside themselves. Passion is not something that exists naturally waiting to be discovered. It takes hard work and planning to develop. You need to be able to analyze and examine your passion rather than waiting for it to suddenly pop up one day. You should focus down on a small number of things to start the process of looking for what your passion is.
People often times get excited about an idea of passion, but they quickly lose steam. An issue here is that we rarely talk about what true passion feels like. The sensation of excitement about a particular idea is a different sensation than the type of deep passion that drives people into a fulfilling career. Excitement comes and goes. True passion arises after you put in the long hours to really become an expert in your area and can then make an impact out of your career.
There needs to be a balance between what you are passionate about and what you are good at. If you focus just on passion you might end up nowhere and if you focus only on what you are good at without being passionate about it might seriously bore you. Remember that even if we see a lot of people on media that gained success by following their passion, most of the time only the ones who succeeded get the attention. Hundreds of other people have failed. What is more important than following uncertain passion which is likely to go away in a short period of time is trying to get involved in as many and diverse areas as possible and gaining insight on how you integrate your passion to what you are good at.
For a fulfilling career that involves passion, remember these three tips: know what it means to have a passion, put all your hard work and energy into figuring out what your true passion is, and learn what it is that you love to do and what you are good at and how you can balance them. If you ask me once again, "Should I follow my passion?" then I would absolutely say yes but to do so in realistic and practical terms. There is nothing wrong with experimenting but never let your pursuit of passion turn into nothing more than a fantasy or a never-ending chore. Ultimately, it is all about being passionate not about your work but about your journey toward being successful.