It has become trendy to say that following your passion will just lead to disappointment and the poor house. You’ll never be able to achieve your dream. You’ll put in a ton of work, spending a lot of money, and end a failure. Then, you come crawling back to your old, boring, frustrating job with your tail between your legs.
Sound familiar? Gee, I can’t figure out why fear holds some people back from creating the extraordinary life of their dreams!
Well, it can go like that if your passion is playing rap music on the accordion and singing after inhaling helium. (Hey, wait a second…that sounds kind of cool!)
But you know what’s even worse than finding your passion, going for it, and failing? Never even trying to figure out what you want in life, never even trying to go for it, and living a boring, frustrating, unhappy existence. Ready for me to sign you up for that?!
I don’t think some people understand what finding and pursuing your Passionate Purpose actually means.
- It doesn’t mean wandering around for decades waiting for something to make your heart leap and then sliding down a rainbow into a pot of gold where you never have to do any hard work again.
- It doesn’t even mean you were born with only one passion that will ever make you happy.
- It doesn’t mean you can’t have multiple passionate purposes, or that they can’t change over time.
- It doesn’t mean you immediately quit your current job and go broke trying to make your new thing work.
- It doesn’t mean the first “passion” you try becomes your new career.
What it does mean is you were born for a purpose. You have a “why” in this world. When you find that, you find more meaning in your life. Your purpose can usually be pursued with talents and gifts you already have. How do you find them?
There are things you have done and experienced that you really liked and showed ability for. You already have some desires, beliefs, and values that could become something to build a life around.
Why not start pursuing one of those and see if it truly resonates with you? If it does, keep going and build on it. If it’s a vocational passion, see if you can start doing it on the side, without quitting your day job. If that goes well, keep expanding it and eventually see if you can replace your current job with it.
If it turns out you really aren’t that passionate about it after all…try another one of your passions! It’s ok to try new things. There is no ONE PERFECT PASSION FOR MY ENTIRE LIFE! (Well that’s not how it works for most of us.)
Most of us will have multiple passions that we want to include in our lives and they will change throughout the course of our lives. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Some of us will find a career we love and stick with it for 40 years. That’s great, too. Others of us will find ways to tweak what we do throughout our career to keep it fresh and exciting. And still others of us will decide to totally change our careers one or multiple times
There is no “right” way to go about this. But, I beg you to do it.
Some people claim you should just work hard at something and once you get better at it, you will become passionate about it. Well, I was really good at math in school. I worked hard at it – but I hated it. Should I have become an accountant or an engineer and tried to force myself to like it?
Doesn’t it make sense to try out things you really like (maybe even feel passionately about)? When something starts to click for you, that’s when you should develop your skills and become world class at it. That will grow your passion and your success.
But that isn’t the ending point. You will still need to research ways to monetize it. You will still need to create goals and action plans to get there. In other words, it still takes work.
But why wouldn’t you want to work at something you’re passionate about instead of something just to “earn a living?”
Follow your passion is great advice – if you understand what it really means.