Gone are the days when ‘I Love You’ were the three golden words. Today, the three golden words are – follow your passion. In today’s world, if you tell someone that you don’t like your job, the person is most likely to suggest you, “quit your job and follow your passion”, “do what you love to do”, or something similar. You get the gist?
Your current job gives you the status and the security, but people (especially on the internet) will tell you that you’ll be happy if you start doing what you are passionate about. Albeit it makes sense – nobody enjoys spending years sitting in a cubicle and doing something they despise – but does it guarantee success?
Following are five factors to consider before taking the overrated advice:
Don’t believe it? OK, so tell us what were the pages you liked on Facebook when you were in college? And what are the pages you have liked in the recent past? Are they even similar? No? Because the things you were passionate about a few years ago are not exactly what you are passionate about today. As kids, no one wanted to become an IRS officer, yet, every year, thousands of people compete to become one.
We often use hobby and passion as if they are one and the same. Hobby is something we pursue during our free time to relax. Passion, on the other hand, is something we love to pursue and comes to us naturally. It is our drive within … something that and we are good at. Just because you enjoy painting does not mean you should become a painter. If you think you are really passionate about it, ask yourself whether you would still pursue it if the success rate in that field is just.
When we read or hear the words – Follow Your Passion – we automatically try to create a non-existing passion for ourselves. Often the fake passion is related to something that is more of a fad. Today, a lot of people want to become photographers. Many of them aren’t really passionate about it. They have labelled it as their passion because it is one of the coolest professions.
You may be good at what you are passionate about, but are you good enough to be in the top 1%? Just because you love dancing, does not mean that you should become a professional dancer. The reality shows make us believe that performing arts such as dance, music, etc. is a safe career bet. Sorry to break the bubble, but they’re not. They’re just fads and will start diluting soon. Disagree? OK, name 20 professional dancers who are doing well as dancers.
Now, before you think how cynical this point is, read the next one.
If you have realised what your passion is, congratulations. What if we tell you that it is possible to continue with your job which guarantees status and security along with pursuing your passion? If you are really passionate about it, you will find a way out to pursue it. If you are not, you will stick to the excuse.
A Venn Diagram explaining how to choose the middle ground.
What if you’re the 1000th best in your field of passion? Would you still like to make it your profession? If yes, then there is nothing that should stop you. If no, then at least have a Plan B which can rescue you if things go south.
We all learnt from 3 Idiots that we should pursue what we are passionate about. What we failed to learn was that the characters who practised and preached that had the option to return to a safer profession in case if they failed.
So, what do you feel about the whole Follow Your Passion advice? Do let us know in the comment section below.