Don’t follow passion. Follow process.
Quickly search ‘follow your passion‘ and you get ambushed by results that tell you to not follow your passion, how it will ultimately lead to your demise. I agree.
The advice of follow your passion is a bit flimsy, is somewhat unrealistic and above all, very dangerous. Follow your passion and go broke. Follow your passion and eat ramen forever. Follow your passion and sleep on mom and dads couch (which there is nothing wrong with).
The thing about following your passion is most often we love the idea of the end goal but may not always find joy in the work to attain it. If the dream of being a famous singer seems amazing but you can’t sit down for more than five minutes to write songs or becoming a professional athlete is your dream but everything else trumps practicing your sport, it’s not going to work. Chasing baseless pursuits simply based on the assumed outcome is a foolproof way to stumble through life never finding exactly what you want.
If this is the case I would propose to become passionate about ‘the process’. Everything has a process and everyone is passionate about one. For me, I love working on tasks or goals. Whether with school or a full-time job or writing, I find the process enjoyable when there is a concrete end. Knowing this, I am able to aim and guide my efforts into situations where passion will organically occur. It sounds super lame I know, but it works.
Whatever you think your passion is, take a long look at it. Is the end-game fueling your drive? And if you don’t know what that is yet, don’t worry! I’ll show you.
Can you think of a time when you were doing something that you were so engulfed in that you forgot what time it was? When you didn’t eat and an hour seemed to take only 5 minutes?
Rack your brain and you could find that instance where everything else disappeared and you were ‘in the moment’. This is your passion. But Patrick you say, I can’t workout for a living or painting cannot be relied upon for a consistent income. You’re right, but take elements and incorporate them to your everyday activities.
Look at all of its components, at its very core, and direct it. What about it captured and invigorated you? You love working out? Chase work that where you can see measurable progress. Want to paint forever? There is always room for creative people who can work with both their hands and brains in business.
Identify the elements that captured you and chase them relentlessly. What needs mentioning is that even when you find your process, 30% of the time it is going to suck. It will suck so much that you’ll question what you’re doing. But that 30% is way less than any other job. And it will all be because of the process.
Screw your passion, find the process, love what you do.