At some point, most of us have gotten fed-up of hearing the phrase “Follow your passion”. But the question is are you following your passion today? Research shows that only 20% of full-time employees are truly passionate about their jobs.
Some individuals happen to be in the right place at the right time, while others encounter career-killing pitfalls. There’s no way of knowing which direction your career will take. And while you can’t dictate everything, you can control certain aspects.
Here are some common excuses we hear:
- I don’t have the time
- I don’t have the resources
- I’m too old/young
- I don’t know enough right now
- I might fail
If Steve Jobs would’ve waited to have it all figured out before he invented the personal computer, nothing would’ve been done. If Mark Zuckerberg felt the need to graduate from college before launching Facebook, the social network may not exist today. Do you think these guys had it all figured out when they started chasing their dreams? The answer is no.
One key aspect that I have learned is that pursuing your passion doesn’t mean doing what is fun or what brings us joy. But rather, it is about doing what you care about. The distinction is subtle, but very meaningful. Focusing on what you care about aligns your passion with your values and the impact you want to have. This also makes you more resilient and helps you persevere through the hardships, helps you weather the storms that come your way.
The German word for passion, “Leidenschaft,” literally translates to “the ability to hardship.” If you’re passionate about something in Germanic cultures, you don’t necessarily enjoy it. Leidenschaft is about knowing the pursuit will be unpleasant but tolerating it because the outcome is worth the cost.
In Eastern Europe, passion can also be understood as cierpienie (which roughly translates to “suffering” in Polish). It’s a word that describes having a calling, but without any implications of deriving pleasure. You have no choice but to endure it, even when the outcome is not necessarily positive.
The reality is that passion wanes over time, so if you just focus on following happiness, you might not stick with an endeavor like you would if you focused on how it helps you achieve what you care most about. When you’re pursuing your passion, it’s important to bear in mind that resilience is key, because the pursuit of passion is an ongoing—and challenging—process.
Here’s an awesome video to motivate you, to fire you up! No more excuses!