Do you have a career idol whose success holds you both in awe and envy? Are you someone struggling to find a career niche? Have you been told to “follow your passion” and are clueless as to what your passion is? The truth is… You’ve been lied to.
You’re not born with a pre-existing mission. You create your mission.
The notion that we have a pre-existing passion has more negative implications than good. I struggled throughout high school (and college) regarding my career choice. I was waiting for my life’s calling to beckon me. Essentially, I was waiting for my life to be discovered instead of creating my own path. Don’t waste life chasing after an elusive abstract.
“The road to success is not a path you find, but a trail you blaze.” – Robert Brault
You can cultivate passion.
Often, we view passion as an intense hobby, in fields such as music, theater, and arts. We juxtapose it with more viable career paths that are thought of as mundane nine-to-fivers. While this may be true, it doesn’t have to be. At its core, passion reflects mastery. When we’re good at something, we’re motivated to keep refining our craft, which feeds our passion for achieving new heights. This mastery leads to success.
How to Achieve Success by Not Following Your Passion:
1) Identify what you’re good at. Make deliberate effort to improve this skill.
2) Savor your sense of accomplishment. Bask in the impact of your work. This will cultivate passion.
3) Work hard and work frequently at your craft. There is no shortcut to success. The good news is that success doesn’t bring happiness; happiness leads to success. Therefore, #2 is crucial.
Already employed in a good job but haven’t found the passion to work hard everyday? If you’re unfulfilled in your current position, start by asking how you can become more valuable. Identify a rare and valuable skill to develop. Then, follow the three simple steps above. You will be well on your way to cultivating not only a satisfying career, but a new, rarer kind of practical passion built on commitment, mastery, and pride.
Don’t make your passion your career. Make your career your passion. Your job doesn’t have to just be what pays the bills so you can pursue and sustain your other interests. At the same time, your job shouldn’t simply make ends meet and cause financial stress because your chosen passion has a poor job market.
Don’t set out to discover passion. Instead, set out to develop it. This path might be longer and more complicated than what most upbeat career guides might preach, but it’s a path much more likely to lead you somewhere worth going.