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3 Reasons It's So Hard to "Follow Your Passion"

Pursuing Our Passion

According to a recent survey of U.S. workers, only 20% report being truly passionate about work.

Most youngsters place pursuing their passion as an important goal for their future jobs. But many working people fail to pursue their passion because they didn't know how to do so.

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3 Reasons It's So Hard to "Follow Your Passion"

3 Reasons It's So Hard to "Follow Your Passion"

https://hbr.org/2019/10/3-reasons-its-so-hard-to-follow-your-passion

hbr.org

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Key Ideas

Pursuing Our Passion

According to a recent survey of U.S. workers, only 20% report being truly passionate about work.

Most youngsters place pursuing their passion as an important goal for their future jobs. But many working people fail to pursue their passion because they didn't know how to do so.

The Truth About Passion

  • Passion is not acquired but is developed.
  • It isn't a cakewalk.
  • Passion can also make us go wandering in the wrong direction, so we have to recognize its limits.

Don’t Wait to Find Your Passion

There is a journey one has to undergo, to develop the skills, confidence and network that will allow him to experience his true calling.

A person with a fixed mindset about his passion isn't likely to explore and dive deep with curiosity and inspiration.

Not Always Fun

Passion isn't just about what you love to do, or what is fun, but what you care about. Focussing on what you care about leaves out the 'enjoyment' part and aligns your passion with your values and the impact you want to have in this world.

Passion also wanes over time, and the key to be successful in your passion is to be resilient and perseverant.

Overcoming The Limits Of Passion

Passion leads to better performance only when others also agree with the passionate person, or if it is expressed only in the appropriate context. Your passion isn't always shared by others and is not appropriate in certain situations and circumstances which require a different set of tactics and skill-sets.

It can hamper an ongoing negotiation, in which showing that one is enthusiastic may not be desirable. Passionate employees can also be exploited by managers who can make them work more than they should, risking burnout.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Don't follow your passion
The main flaw of  “finding your passion” presupposes that interests and passions are fixed, rather than fluid and evolving as we age and gain wisdom and experience. 
The problem with following your passion
  • It ignores the market. Unless you have a trust fund waiting for you, you’ll have to feed yourself and others. 
  • It will turn a passion into a job. 
Learn from Startups
  1. Identify real needs in the market that are currently not being well met. 
  2. Assess your strengths: Whatever is easy for you that most others have a harder time with, that’s a worthy option.
  3. Match up these two in a constantly iterative process: This process takes many years if not decades.

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Do many things

It's better to have lots of options and interests than none at all. 

Make a list of all the things you're interested in, pick two to focus on first and then get busy. If you ...

Always stay true to yourself

We often try to place limits on ourselves after we've invested so much money in school and we move into the working world feeling stuck at jobs with horrible bosses, low pay and in cities that just aren't what we expected. 

Stop doing what you hate and begin taking the steps to do what you love. You don't have to feel confined to a box and you shouldn't worry about being defined by one thing.

Focus on you

You won't find your passion by watching and comparing where you are in life to others. 

You also can't compare your beginning to someone else's middle.

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Passion is key to success

Passion seems to be essential for success and happiness.
Psychologists have devised tools that can measure passion to some extent. Questions were chosen that carefully differentiate passion f...

A career without passion

While some people have a clear calling from an early age, many spend their whole careers without having ever discovered their passion.

The most basic foundation of passion is an intense interest in what you're doing.

Mindsets
Some people tend to see their abilities as fixed, that you either have a talent for something or you don't. Others have a growth mindset where they believe that abilities can change over time.

These mindsets determine how we face challenges: We either give up when we are faced with difficulties or we persevere knowing that we will improve over time.

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Self-Managing Our Priorities

We need to take ownership and set priorities of the existing workload ourselves. Our priorities can be divided into:

  • The work that one is passionate about, and ha...
Prioritize Your Work
  • Prioritize the tasks with the highest value addition and impact, while being in your 'high passion' list.
  • Tolerate tasks that may be important but stress you out, as they may be part of the deal. It is also good to push yourself out of the comfort zone.
  • Elevate tasks that others don't see as important, but you are extremely motivated about
  • Delegate all procedural, low-value and low-energy tasks to someone else. If that is not possible, try to minimize or eliminate such work.
Flag Your Priorities

Take ownership and reclaim your time, choosing where you can best spend your time and energy.

You can analyze your last month's calendar and flag or grade your work and in which quadrant you have been working. This will help you plan in a more informed way to use the finite resources of time and energy.

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The Effects Of Burnout
The Effects Of Burnout

One of the worst things burnout does is to take away the pleasure you once had in your work. And even after recovering you might not recapture the same enthusiasm you once had.

...
What Makes a Job Satisfying
  • Engagement
  • Benefitting other people
  • Work you’re good at (and feel valued for)
  • Flexibility and control
  • Chances for meaningful collaboration.
Work As Identity

Work is seen as a source of income and a source of identity. This increases the likelihood of burnout, as it makes a failure in one mean a failure in both.

Blurring the lines between personal and professional life leads us to chase unrealistic deadlines, take on overwhelming workloads, and bring work into all other parts of our lives.

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The Passion Project

Various studies show that creative hobbies increase our happiness and well-being, and they can even make our work more productive.

Spending more time on something we are passionate about, un...

The Morning Routine

Creating a morning routine is a game-changer for your passion project.

With a clear, distraction-free mind, you can work on your passion for 30 to 60 minutes in the morning, maybe just one step of work, providing you with a great start of the day.

Time Allotment Myth

While we normally would allot a day or a weekend for our passion project, we end up not moving forward in spite of the time set aside.

If we can spare a few minutes to work on our passion project, in increments, we start to build something, with consistency.

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It takes more than just passion

Make sure that you’re actually good at what you do. 

Ask yourself if you’re willing to put in the hard work and if there is a market for you to tap into. Even if it’s just t...

How can you make something better

Let’s say that your passion is playing the guitar. What void can you fill in that marketplace? For example, if you can repair guitars and realize that there isn’t a repair shop anywhere else around, that could be a business opportunity.

You also need to ask yourself how you can make the industry better.

Ways to monetize each passion

Think of all the various ways that you can actually make money off your passion. This may include:

  • Selling an actual product.
  • Sharing your knowledge about your passion by blogging, writing books or filming videos. 
  • Offering advice as a consultant in anything from accounting to gardening.
  • Becoming an investor in an idea that you’re willing to financially support.
  • Inventing a gadget or software that makes life easier for people. 
  • Building an event around your passion, such as a festival or community organization.

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Curiosity leads us to generate alternatives
Curiosity leads us to generate alternatives

When our curiosity is triggered, we are less likely to fall prey to confirmation bias (looking for information that supports our beliefs rather than for evidence suggesting we are ...

Curiosity and innovation

Encouraging people to be curious generates workplace improvements.

When we are curious, we view tough situations more creatively. Studies have found that curiosity is associated with less defensive reactions to stress and less aggressive reactions to provocation.

Reduced group conflict

Curiosity encourages members of a group to put themselves in one another’s shoes and take an interest in one another’s ideas rather than focus only on their own perspective.

Thus, conflicts are less heated, and groups achieve better results.

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A strong romantic relationship

Extraordinary couples are like everyone else. Except they make their love intentional.

In business, fitness, or even your hobby, you don't passively wait for things to get better. The same i...

The three keys to passion
  • Intimacy: Emotional closeness, communication, feeling that no one knows you better or has your back more strongly than your mate.
  • Thrill: Excitement, attraction, adventure.
  • Sensuality: The entire spectrum from kissing goodnight to holding hands, from making tender love to raw passion.
    Set daily relationship intentions

    Most mornings, commit to spending five minutes with your partner. Think of a relationship intention, then share it. "Today, I intend to be careful with my tone of voice when I feel impatient."

    Commit spending two minutes at the end of the day reviewing your progress and ways to improve it.

    Cautious mindset vs. an adventurous mindset
    • When choosing for ourselves, we focus more on a granular level, something we describe as a cautious mindset.
    • When it came to deciding for...
    A different mindset when choosing for others

    We adopt an adventurous mindset that stands in contrast to the more cautious mindset that rears when people make their own choices.

    We see the best solution with clarity and a decisiveness that is often absent when we face our own dilemmas.

    Taking an outside perspective

    We should work to distance ourselves from our own problems by adopting a fly-on-the-wall perspective and act as our own advisors.

    Another distancing technique is to pretend that our decision is someone else's and visualize it from his or her perspective. By imagining how someone else would tackle your problem, people may unwittingly help themselves.