SCREW PASSION the Biggest Fraud in Career Discovery
“You can do anything as long as you have the passion,” but I say screw this quote, not only is it misleading, it is incorrect, especially for those seeking to pursue a successful career life. Before delving into this all too controversial topic, it’s best to define the keywords as this will give us a sense of direction and help us understand better the message being passed across.
Passion is best defined as a fleeting emotion, which is so good, surreal, and exciting at first but phases out over time. Not only does it not last long, it often creates incorrect or misleading expectations about our careers and life in general. Purpose, on the other hand, is the motive behind a specific action or the reason why something exists.
Purpose, unlike passion, is not fleeting and does not fade with time. Instead, it takes pride in a job well done; it pushes you and helps you bring out your best, and purpose is all about one’s value system.
If you are to have a successful career, then you must be willing to put your passionate emotions in as ONE factor, not every factor in career discovery. So far in my life, I have had 25 job titles, in the past I have been busy pursuing only my passions, yet I was no closer to being fulfilled. A look at celebrity marriages will give you a clearer picture of how passion doesn’t take you far. Couples get married with so much excitement, passion, and love, but after a while, we hear of their divorce. What happened, what went wrong? I’ll tell you what, the passion died, and so did the marriage. The same thing happens with careers… we get married to an idea based on passion only but we don’t consider all of the other factors that make a career satisfying.
Consider passion like the icing on the cake, its sweetness will offend you as you can only handle so much sweetness at a time; without the cake, the icing is nothing more than a mess running all over without direction. And before you disagree ask even the most passionate people, they will tell you they don’t wake up to experience the same level of passion every day. Passion may lead you in the direct career path, but to succeed in it you need something more sustainable, you need a purpose, a drive that will push you and push you hard. That is what the cake is. Your purpose is the cake, it’s the thing you can succeed with, even if passion doesn’t happen to be there one day.
Rather than focus on what you are passionate about, direct that same energy to have a purpose as this is a more important quality. While passion is flitting and can die off anytime leaving you confused, exhausted, and in a state of mess, purpose, on the other hand, is more sustainable, gives you a sense of contribution and fulfillment and is based on a person’s principles.
My grandparents are an example of people who had a purpose, they hard a farm and worked hard, they wanted to give their children the very best, and they managed to do just that, they affected the lives around them positively, they made an impact in their world. They instilled in me the virtue of having a purposeful life, a life in which I took pride in a job well done, they taught me to know my values and live by them. Growing up with them shaped my life, and I am grateful to all their teachings. It is out of the wealth of knowledge they passed to me that I am sharing with you by letting you know the dangers of putting your passion ahead of purpose when building a career.
How do we create a life of purpose you may ask? It’s simple, align the everyday tasks that you enjoy with your values, and you will find a place in the middle that gives you a purpose. Tasks are how you want to be in this world, values are who you want to be in this world. By merging those two things together you will find your purpose.
Passion is a beautiful feeling, no doubt, but it’s not needed to love your job or be excellent at it. Personally, I love passion. I’m addicted to it! But it’s not there every single day; however, my purpose is. My purpose has staying power while passion may be onto the flavour of the day. Passion is not sustainable while purpose can be for longer periods of time, or even forever.
While passion is an ingredient, it’s not an essential ingredient. We have been getting it wrong all this time. Passion yes is the icing, but the icing can only come when the cake has been baked.
The purpose will take you where passion will never forget this. So enjoy passion but also screw passion, it’s the biggest fraud in career discovery. It will lead you into all sorts of fun, crazy and phantasmagorical dreams, but it won’t last.