Spend any time at all in the career space and you’re bound to come across the word ‘passion’. Most people want it. Lots of people encourage it. And at times I sort of hate it. Here’s why.
Emphasizing passion negates the importance of effort.
I’m totally cool with lining your career up with your interests and strengths and dreams.
What bothers me is the idea that this alone is enough. I frequently hear people saying, “I want to find my passion.” But I’ve never heard anyone add the following, “And I want to put in consistent effort, day in and day out, on developing this career path, even when it’s not so fun.”
Yes, it’s important to feel motivated to do the work that you set out to do, but I think the success of your career rests more on your persistence than your passion.
Passion implies constant excitement and enthusiasm.
A runner may have a passion for running. But are they feeling excitement and enthusiasm during each and every minute of a marathon? I think not.
Careers are like marathons, only much, much longer. There will be moments where you celebrate lovely achievements and days when you’d rather stay in bed. There will be things you bump up against that scare you and there will be times when you fail.
Hopefully more mornings than not you greet your workday with satisfaction, but it would surprise me if every day was full of passionate enthusiasm.
To conclude, one word could never be enough to sum up a satisfying work life. Sometimes we use ‘passion’ as a shorthand, but in doing so we leave out some important pieces of what a fulfilling career actually entails.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on ‘passion’. Do you find it to be a helpful framework or a bit lacking? Share a comment below!