Shattering The Perception of Passion
"I'm going to follow my passion this year!"
I can hear the resolutions coming quickly, filled with good intentions.
When someone says they are "following their passion", generally what they mean is that they have figured out what it is that excites them and drives them and makes them want to get out of bed most mornings and that is what they are doing as a career.
This is not the case for most people, however. In fact, the majority of people working in the US are unhappy with their jobs. So "following your passion" is not exactly common practice, and many see it as a way to happiness.
But I want to give this one warning:
Passion is not perfect.
Working on something you're passionate about doesn't mean that life is going to be fine and dandy, butterflies are going to flutter around, and every day will be filled with new and exciting experiences that leave a smile on your face. That is the picture painted by the phrase "follow your passion" and it is just simply not true.
If you look at any person who is actually "working their passion", you'll notice that they are not living in a dream world. They are grinding away, making sure that they are working to the best of their abilities, and stretching and growing into new roles and responsibilities. They are filled with doubts about their skills and worry about what the next month will bring. Sounds a lot like the drudgery accompanied by most types of work that leave the majority of people unhappy. Maybe even worse. So why even bother finding a passion to work?
The difference is that these passionate people don't dread going to work everyday. While not every part of the job is going to be their favorite, they actually have favorite parts. Sundays are not inevitably filled with moans about the upcoming week. These people do enjoy what they do the majority of the time and are willing to put up with the bad parts for more than just a paycheck.
If you expect to "follow your passion" and just live a happily ever after, you're going to be disappointed, and end up as another person added to the list of job-haters.
But if on the other hand, you go in with a clear picture of what to expect and the desire to "work your passion", there's a very good chance that you'll end up doing something that fulfills you. And this will let you to look at work as more than just...work.
If you're working your passion, what has your experience been?