Why You Don’t Need Passion


This is a theme that I have run across TWICE now in a week. Once was enough to get me thinking, but twice is enough to make me believe it.

1. I watched an interview with Cal Newport, author of the book So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love
Cal boldly argues that “follow your passion” is bad advice and says “Passion comes after you put in the hard work to become excellent at something valuable, not before. In other words, what you do for a living is much less important than how you do it.”

2. Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love–recently spoke out against passion as well. She say’s

“You spend a lot of your life having people tell you to follow your passion. It’s nice advice, it’s heart-warming advice, it’s great advice — if you happen to have one that is very clear and obvious,” she says.

But what happens if you don’t have an easily identifiable passion? Hearing the advice to follow it often leaves you with more frustration than you started with.

“Sometimes it feels cruel and all it does is make you feel even worse and more left out, because you’re like, ‘I would if I knew what it was!'” Gilbert says. “If you’re in that position right now… forget about passion.”

Instead, she suggests following something much more attainable. “Follow your curiosity,” Gilbert says. “Passion is rare; passion is a one-night-stand. Passion is hot, it burns. Every day, you can’t access that.”

Even though she describes herself as a passionate person, Gilbert insists she doesn’t feel passionate every, single day. What she does feel, though, is curiosity.

“Follow it,” she says. “It might lead you to your passion or it might not. You might get nothing out of it at all except a beautiful, long life where all you did was follow your gorgeous curiosity. And that should be enough too.” -original source

I think both Cal and Elizabeth are right on the money. Chasing your curiosity and putting in the hard work to become excellent at something is far more sustainable and usually a much more trustworthy guide.

What do you think? Would you rather be curious or passionate?

bwselfie Brooke Snow is a photographic artist and delights in the pursuit of a meaningful life. Sign up for her FREE e course “Living A Thriving Life” to learn more about how to find true balance in your life. Brooke lives in Northern Utah with her calm husband, adventurous 4 year old son and practically perfect new baby girl.

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