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

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.

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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.

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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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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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