The One About Passion

“We are passionate about ________”. (Whatever)

Really guys?

Because the rest of us are like…”meh, we just love to drive an hour to get to our offices, just to slack off .. “

(No, not that Slack … OK, maybe that one too.. )

Passion is a great thing to have..

I mean, who doesn’t want to live the passionate life of two great lovers. Or the one of an inventor..an innovator..a change maker!

We get it. We all do.

Yet, passion is not enough. Because passion is an extreme. I comes from the Greek word, pathos. It is the same root word for hurting, something bad that happens to you. Pathos is an extreme situation that doesn’t last long. And all it does, is make us seek the next thrill when it’s over.

Just like happiness.

Passion makes us happy. But happiness doesn’t last forever. It’s funny, but the Greek word for happines literally means good luck, good fortune. And we all know luck doesn’t last forever. Well, for most of us at least 🙂

Happiness can also be selfish. It can simply mean to make more money, buy a bigger car or house. Which is OK, by the way. Money and property are worthy goals. But they don’t produce lasting happiness. That one is reserved for those actions that have a positive social impact. That benefit us, and those around us. That’s why helping others can crack a smile even on the face of the most ruthless businessman.

So, what about passion then?

If passion is not enough, we need something more. And what we need is virtue. But not the one you are used to hearing from your parents or reading in the books.

Come on man, really?

Yes, virtue. Because long before religion came into the scene to give virtue the theological meaning of the path to heaven (or wherever one goes according to his/her beliefs), virtue had a different meaning.

Virtue is to combine, to mold together two or more opposite ideas or behaviours.

Like being stingy, or being spendthrift; blowing your money away without thinking. The middle ground here (the virtuous one) could be a philanthropist, -a friend of the people-. Someone who spends more than most people do, but for a worthy cause.

Virtue gives you the clarity to think of all those things that have to be in place for your passion to be truly your path of success.

So yes, you can choose your passion to be your job. I mean, what could be more awesome and fullfilling? Doing what you love is more important than a paycheck.. And you will be so much better at your job if you love what you’re doing… Right?

Wrong..

First of all, by thinking like that, you are saying that your life is fulfilled only by your passion. But as we just said, passion is an extreme and as such it cannot last for long.

Moreover, for passion to be your path, you need some safeguards in place; some prerequisites that have to be met in order for your passion to be a long-lasting career choice. You know, things like those three below:

  • You have colleagues that support the company vision and each other
  • You are compensated adequately according to your life standards
  • Your job produces something meaningful (repetitive-type jobs are the worst for this one)

Your passion can also be a restriction to your potential. If you are good at drawing for example -and everyone else around you tells you that all of the time-, you could limit yourself to a career path of an illustrator, where in fact you could be an excellent coder, and fail to realise it because of the limiting beliefs you and your surroundings share.

Or, you can have more than one passions. Which one would you follow then? How do you decide if you don’t know how much a job will leave you satisfied as a person?

So, What Am I Supposed To Do?

I honestly cannot offer a definite answer to this one. What I can offer is simply the way I deal with this situation, and what I offer as an opinion to a friend or colleague that asks for it. For me, it is more a matter of context than of content. What life has taught me, is that you can start a new career, and grow to love it, to make it your passion.

Because no matter what you do, if you:

  • surround yourself with colleagues you feel good with
  • your job is meaningful to you
  • your job helps others
  • you try to get better at it every-single-day

then you my friend, have found your passion! And like so many others, you can start your journey to Ithaca, but the sea and the winds can take you to a new and glorious land you never thought you would plant your roots in.

So, that’s it! Passion is a great feeling to have, but most of the times it’s a bad idea to base your life’s decisions solely on it. Instead, you should look for things and people that fulfill you, and stick with them. Even if they don’t appear too sexy at first.

Now, back to slacking! (Yes, that one…)

Be safe everyone!

Leo.