30 May Why Follow Your Passion is Bullshit Advice
Let me be really clear, I’m not saying that there is no such thing as passion. There are tons of people doing work they are passionate about, and that is definitely the goal. But people for far too long have been throwing around this just ‘follow your passion’ stuff and it’s really gotta stop.
I mean, as if it’s that easy, right? Oprah found it, Steve Jobs found it, so what’s wrong with you? Well nothing actually is wrong with you, you are totally fine. The problem is this crappy piece of advice that is overlooking some things.
Overlooked Thing #1 – It’s wayyy to simplistic and only leads to more stress.
‘Follow your passion’ assumes you know what it is. And most people are not born knowing what they are passionate about. Most people do not just stumble across it either. Yet when people say that to you, you immediately get that empty feeling in your gut, because you KNOW you don’t know what it is, and you assume everyone else does. No wonder you start to get stressed at the idea of looking for work you are passionate about! You’ve been encouraged to create these unrealistic expectations about passion. And when you don’t find it in that new job you just took, it’s draining. And the idea of looking for another one again is draining, so you start to feel stuck. I mean, why wouldn’t you? But it’s not your fault. You’ve kinda been force fed this crap.
Overlooked Thing #2 – School – they kinda treat us like robots.
No, I am not against education. But chances are the school you went to as a kid did nothing to encourage your creativity. Probably cause school definitely has some factory-esque qualities. We’re processed in bulk with at least 20 kids per teacher, we all learn the same curriculum at the same pace, and we’re expected to have the same uniform result as everyone else. What happens is that we don’t get a lot of individual attention, we can’t really discover and pursue individual interests at our own speed, and a student’s unique potential that doesn’t fit the traditional school model is totally overlooked.
Kinda shocking, right? Yeah, it’s safe to say that school doesn’t help us find our passion. How can it when the whole system doesn’t even encourage us to think for ourselves.
Overlooked Thing #3 You don’t find your passion, you create it.
So here’s a shitload of truth – passion is a complex thing that takes time to build. You know that awesome feeling you get when you’ve discovered a new hobby, social cause, whatever? It’s not passion, it’s excitement. That’s probably why for many (me included) that feeling fades sooner or later. True passion takes an investment of time and energy. It’s about putting up with the great and the not-so great to become AMAZING in the work you’ve chosen to do. Remember Steve Jobs? Well at the moment he fell into Apple computers he was actually ‘passionate’ about Eastern Mysticism. Fact. But he saw an opportunity and threw himself it. And that my friends is how he created his passion for computers.
So pleeease don’t give up on the search for a career you are passionate about. It is attainable I promise. Just stop believing all the people that make it sound so effortless because they are not helping you. Real passion takes work. It’s found by exploring. It takes a commitment of time and energy to something you actually believe in. Sorry, no one’s gonna hand this to you. But how badly do you want it?
p.s. what are the other BS advice we’re sold?? I’m sure there’s tons out there!