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Never follow your passion

When someone tells you to follow your passion, run, run very fast in the opposite direction


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George Tewson

2 years ago | 3 min read

I blame social media feel-good memes. Like this one here, a crock of shit!

They prey on those looking for the easy get out of jail card and are easy to consume, telling the reader that the plight of all their monetary issues is merely to follow their passion for getting out of the meaningful pit of existence they are in.

Well, let me tell you a great piece of advice.

Passion, will not save you from the meaningless existence, it will not turn you into the Gary V you want to be, no matter how many motivational speeches you read on LinkedIn. Following a passion is a whole heap of horse shit dreamed up by someone who needs an easy get-out clause to justify their poor business choices.

Ok, lets wind back the nihilistic negativity.

Following passion itself if a dead-end choice. But that's not to say that passion is not a crucial product of a successful endeavour.

And that’s the keyword, success.

We read all these articles online on being passionate and successful; following certain people will bring us success. How employing goals will lead us to financial freedom.

When, in fact, these memes and interviews with successful people should really say:

If you want to be successful, and subsequently; passionate, you need to work harder and smarter than your peer, you have to have a certain degree of luck, and you need a whole heap of determination.

But that's not as quickly consumed; It doesn't give you that kick in the feels that's needed by social media.

You may hear successful people (whatever that word means) say the key to success is passion; the key to success is not passion; the key to success is being successful.

A by-product of success is passion.

Success

If not passion then, how should we approach business?

Passion is not totally meaningless; it's just not something you should chase; in fact, success is something you should pursue to gain passion.

Being successful brings passion; you get passionate about success, rather than chasing passion to be successful. It's effortless to be passionate about the things that are going well.

But hard to be passionate about the things that are going un-successfully. Actually, it could be a dangerous place to be if you are passionate; passionate people are more likely to take more significant risks for unlikely goals.

So, let's not make passion our go-to driver for business advice. Instead, let's look at how we instead become successful.

Threshold

Success is a gauge, its a gauge against a predetermined level we measure aspects of our life against.

An example of the success that’s measurable and we all use is; money.

I have X amount of money in my bank, so therefore I am a success.

There will be a time when we had this idea in our head. A time when the level of success was, in fact, the measure of your success against a peer, or even worse, someone you saw on social media, “He has 2 Ferraris, I don't even have a car, he is more successful than I am”- you get the idea.

I am here today to tell you to stop this comparison level; and the most efficient way of preventing these comparisons is by measuring your success against the only thing that's real and tangible- Yourself, you need to set your objectives based upon your needs and where you want to be.

Once you have these objectives, and actually document them, you will measure your progression a lot more accurately that switching on Instagram every morning and moving your goalposts.

And make them achievable, don't set yourself up for a failure, and no, you cannot have 2 Ferrari’s next week. I mean, you can set an objective to get them, of course. But what happens when you don't get those 2 Ferrari’s, or even one for that matter. Well, you have become unsuccessful.

You see, when you set an objective (and I don’t mean a short term goal here because I equally don't believe in goals either), a tangible objective that’s able to be measured and real meaningful output of the end of a time frame. Then you can deem if you have been successful enough.

There are far too many people, looking around, for work, money- love, without an objective.

Having no objective is a bad idea. It's bad because you don't have guidance. You don't have anywhere to gauge your success off, which will drive depression, drive an everlasting feeling of failure, and ultimately drive all passion from life itself.

Build objectives, start small, use data, real, measurable data, and life will become a lot clearer, and ultimately you will find passion in success.

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George Tewson

Hi, I am George. I am a seasoned quality engineer originally from the UK.


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