Beware of unhealthy passions - Deepstash

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4 Rules for Identifying Your Life’s Work

Beware of unhealthy passions

  • An unhealthy passion is an obsessive passion, characterised by intense interest, negative mood and low concentration during the activity, and unhappiness when not engaged in the activity.
  • Conversely, a healthy passion, also called "harmonious passion", is characterised by happiness, good concentration and a "flow state" while doing it.

While looking for something in which you are intensely interested, go further and ask "Does this job or career bring out the best in me?"

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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.
When lifelong dreams crumble
When lifelong dreams crumble

All of us have hopes and dreams for the future that become part of our identity. But then reality gets in the way. Your passion may fade, or the obstacles to realising the dream ma...

Come to terms with your decision

As you let go of your dream, you may fear you're making a mistake.

  • There's no calculus for knowing when to give up. If pursuing your dream comes at great personal cost to your relationships and other goals in life (which is different from a 'harmonious passion'), that would suggest it was wise to give it up.
  • Success is not all or nothing. You may not have fulfilled your dream, but you likely learned much along the way, giving you a chance to redirect your energy and passions in new ways.
Goal adjustment capacity

Psychologists see goal adjustment capacity as a beneficial form of 'self-regulation' or 'self-management.'

It contains two parts:

  1. The ability to disengage from fruitless goals
  2. The ability to know when and how to change to new, more productive goals.

Those who are flexible and adaptable are generally happier, perform better. They often get promoted. If you are thinking of giving up your dream, it suggests you have a healthy willingness to adjust and adapt.

The Half-Life of Facts
The Half-Life of Facts

Facts decay over time. And the time it takes to disprove or replace half of it can be predicted.

Data in medicine become half as relevant in 2-3 years. For exact sciences, 2-4 years.

Half life of facts and compound knowledge

If we want our knowledge to compound, we’ll need to focus on the invariant general principles.

Half-lives show us that if we spend time learning something that changes quickly, we might be wasting our time.