A Tired Expression (and a potential substitute)

January 1st, as can be expected, saw social media go into full New Year's resolution mode. And I’m not bagging that. I’m a big fan of goals and while the concept of setting them at the start of each year can feel a bit arbitrary, in principle, it’s a good thing to do.

Along with all the New Year’s resolutions there have also been a lot of inspirational quotes flying around, which quite frankly, feel like cliched drivel.

Not so much because of their intention, but more because they have been used so much without thinking about what they actually mean. If perhaps we gave them a slight tweak though they could be more attainable.

One in particular stands out to me.

Follow your passion

As a quick caveat, this advice is good if you know your passion. If you do, by all means, chase it.

However, in general passions are an odd concept and the phrase to ‘follow’ them makes a wild assumption we are born with a natural knowledge to what ours is.

Chances are if you know your passion you’re already following it or doing something that involves it to some capacity. It’s rare to know your passion and ignore it entirely.

If you haven’t figured it out yet though, the idea of having to define it feels like a huge and terrifying task. And the problem with this is as humans when we are uneasy, unsure or fearful of the outcome of something we often default to simply not doing anything at all.

An old friend of mine once told me if you’re going to address a problem, you have to also bring a solution.

So, instead perhaps we should be saying follow your curiosities, follow your questions or follow your itch.

On the way you may discover your passion, which is great. But if not, at least you’re investing into pursuits that will return some value to you.

It seems a good tweak.