Monday, May 14, 2012

Follow Your Passion. Really?

I have been reading a lot of different articles about following your passion and finding a job that makes your heart sing. Really? Is it possible to actually have a job that suits your passion. A job that is actually your passion?

 I think musicians find that their job is their passion and maybe artists too. I have a friend that is a super editor/copywriter and she started a business that is totally her passion. I know a twenty something man who is moving speedily upward in a funky SEO company and he loves his job. These people get paid to do what they are passionate about.

When you are in your twenties there are a lot of jobs that light us up. So what happens as we age. Do we get jaded? What does that really mean though? The same job that once made us happy no longer does. Is the secret to remaining passionate on a job then to change jobs frequently?

Barry Schwartz in his TED talk on happiness suggests that having too many choices makes happiness elusive. That the secret of happiness comes from fewer choices. His studies suggest that as choices multiply, so do our expectations. The secret to happiness, according to Schwartz is lower expectations. Hmmmm.... Lower expectations, fewer choices. If there are fewer choices we are indeed more easily satisfied with where we end up. When you have the whole world to choose from there will always be the road not taken.

As we age, we get increasingly altruistic, and more focused on the things that make us truly tick and are thus, we are unwilling to spend the majority of our day doing things that do not align with the person we are becoming. And our purpose that is becoming clearer.

This is where there sits a huge leap of faith.  There are those who make the leap and find new meaning and there are those who remain in their safe place with their safe income but not their passion.  It is a trade off for sure.  Those who go, often trade money for passion and settle with earning less in the beginning.

But there are ways through multiple streams of income to define multiple paths that make your heart sing and do a little bit of each.  The end result is that you are spending most of your time doing fulfilling work and your sum total income could possibly touch your income in your previous life of passionless work. Definitely worth a second look.

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