Tuesday, August 3, 2010

An Epiphany: A Short Essay on Passion

I had an epiphany.

One night, I was watching Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe and he said something that fascinated me: "Don't follow your passion; take your passion with you." It made total sense. To follow your passion is a traditional piece of advice one generation gives to the next, but it is totally fallacious. Take me, for example. I tried to follow my passion, and now I find myself unemployable. Rowe said a person's passions are too important to keep at a distance ahead of them; they should be kept close at their side.

So, don't follow your passion. Even if you end up employable after following your passion, your passion becomes your work. When has that ever ended well? I know there are several divorcees who will answer with a resounding "not freaking often."

How many people love their jobs? Not many. Really not many. So, if following your passion leads to a lucrative career, you lose. Your passion will burn out, and you'll be stuck with a joyless, passionless life. It's far better to enter a field you could see yourself doing in an "eh, why not?" kind of way, then leaving your work at the office, and coming home with your passion intact. That way, you have a stable support structure in place that will allow for some recreational passion. Which will lead to a more fulfilled life.

You're not your job. Your life doesn't revolve around your career. Your passion should not be spent on something as petty as your work. If it is, you'll be surprised how fast you burn through it. Don't follow your passion; take your passion with you. I love it.

1 comment:

  1. Perhaps this may be helpful. Or interesting.