Why Follow Your Passions?
Our passions are the things that inspire us to greatness, they are the things that make us get up in the morning with a burning desire to do them.
They are the things which define us. They become deeply ingrained within our being and are a part of who we are. They are the first things other people will think of when they think about us; they are what differentiate us from the mundanity of sameness.
They are the things that make us happiest. Constantly following your passion allows you to experience personal joy. The purpose of life in my mind is to simply be happy; following your passions is the smoothest route to that level of personal satisfaction.
By knowing what our true passion is we can derive purpose for our lives which in turn gives what we are doing value. Purpose and value are inexplicably linked, if what you are doing is your passion it is inherently valuable to you. Uncompromisingly pursuing something is incredibly brave, it is why it must be something you are passionate about. It will allow you to become ignorant of the questioning, criticism or dissenting voices as you spend your time doing it. Not enough people are brave enough to inexorably chase their passions.
Purpose gives us direction. It ensures a single minded focus on achieving a top-level goal which enables you to concentrate all your energy on achieving it. In a world where the seductive allure of smart phone screens distracts us to the point of paralysis our passions are the light which sets us free.
Your passions aren’t just the thing you like they must be far more than that. They are the things that we invest our time in now in hope of profiting in the future. They are the destinations that we become desperate to reach and would overcome any obstacle to get there. Our passions are the things which merely embolden us in the face of failure; there’s nothing more important or essential and failure is only a momentary bump in the road which allowed us to recalibrate before continuing forward.
Following your passion endows you with the opportunity to achieve unprecedented success. Success = Talent x Effort². Effort is twice important to success as talent therefore we will achieve the best results in the things we are most passionate about because we will never give up.
Below is an anecdote which for me illustrates the difference between those who are passionate and those who are just doing something for the sake of it.
A ceramics teacher announced he was dividing his class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio would be graded solely on the quantity of work they produced, all those on the right graded solely on its quality.
His procedure was simple: on the final day of class he would weigh the work of the “quantity” group: 50 pounds of pots rated an A, 40 pounds a B, and so on. Those being graded on “quality”, however, needed to produce only one pot — albeit a perfect one — to get an A.
Well, come grading time and a curious fact emerged: the works of highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity!
It seems that while the “quantity” group was busily churning out piles of work — and learning from their mistakes — the “quality” group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead clay.
The lesson: in life quantity always trumps quality.
Your passions are what enable you to relentlessly do something. That results in you producing or doing something far more than anyone else which gives you more opportunity to achieve significant success.
Picasso was so great because he was prolific.
But it’s important to understand that though he was a genius only a proportion of his work was viewed as such. Let’s assume only 10% of his work was ‘great’. If that strike rate hold true for the rest of humanity the only difference is output. If I produce 1,000 drawings and you only produce 10, I would therefore produce 100 ‘great drawings’ while you only have one.
Pursuing our passions give us the opportunity to achieve unprecedented greatness and unmatched personal happiness which ensures we are content with the lives we lead.
Passion is the lifeblood of humanity and is what has let us excel. Passionate people pursuing the things the care about most has resulted in the evolution of our civilisation.
If you pursue your passions you will ensure your own happiness. What is more important than that?