Why do other bloggers write about Following Your Passion as "crappy advice?" If you Google "Follow Your Passion" you will find a number of articles on why it's the wrong thing to do or why it's crappy advice. Maybe somebody is just missing the whole point! There are two articles I found provoking enough to cause me to put fingers to my keyboard:
Article #1 - the minimalist
In one of the questions in this article they talk about Steve Jobs and a speech Steve made at his Stanford Commencement address. He told students (paraphrasing) "
How does the parent who has a passion to stay home and raise the kids define him or herself…a “success” or a “failure”? Can others put a monetary value on his/her choice? Can that parent pursue other passions and still be a stay at home parent? Of course they can! Can you be successful in your career like Steve Jobs and still pursue other passions? Of course you can.
Sometimes, like Steve Jobs, what we call successful careers are handed to us while we are pursuing other passions. Does that mean all of a sudden we are not following our passion? Do we consider "following our passion" a scale for career? I hope not. We can be "successful" in our careers, enjoy our jobs, and make a good living. Our passions do not have to dictate or define what we do for a living or where we work. We cultivate the passion in our lives each and every day. Life is about the never ending pursuit of happiness. We learn and grow. I believe Steve Jobs was right in his quote " ...if you haven't found it yet, keep looking."
The person who walks into a bank to ask for a loan because he or she wants to start a business based on "following their passion" should be given the same opportunity as that person who walks into the bank to get a car loan. The main reason the bank issues any person a loan is because the person has the means to pay it back. It’s the well-thought out and the well-written business plan that reassures the bank when assessing the level of risk. Passion is what will drive that person to make it work. Just because a person is following their passion does not mean they are automatically at risk of financial failure in their business venture. That gross generalization is demeaning for all of us who are out here doing what we love and finding our definitions of success in following our passion.
We must not put passion and success in a nice square box with a bow on top. We all define them differently. We all reach our life's goals differently. We all touch others lives differently. We all succeed differently.
Our lives change and so do we...