March 12, 2021

Don’t follow your passion, but bring it with you


Which path we take isn’t that important. It’s what we carry with us that matters.

And so, instead of the hackneyed advice to follow our passion, we invert the process. We let our passion follow us.

Meaning, we make a decision and commit ourselves to a new project or a job or an endeavor. And then, once we start moving, we find various ways to embed our passion into the pavement that leads the way.

That’s a more realistic and less pressured career strategy that merely following our passion.

Because for most of the world, finding you passion is luck, and getting paid for it is a miracle.

When a growing travel startup hired me as their brand manager, it wasn’t because my contagious passion for travel won them over during the job interview. Quite the opposite, in fact.

Because in my previous career as a public speaker, traveling every week for ten years gave me legitimate post traumatic stress. The idea of having to go to the airport caused me significant anxiety, and the idea of not going to the airport, aka, not making money, provoked even more anxiety.

And yet, my new job as brand manager for the travel company was an ideal fit for me. Because once I settled into the position, I began to discover dozens of outposts within the company to employ my many passions.

From writing to storytelling to strategizing to mentoring, there wasn’t a part of my heart that couldn’t be engaged to make a difference. And that felt deeply fulfilling.

Remember, we take ourselves with us everywhere we go. Passion isn’t just a place we get to, but a place we come from.

And so, focus less on choosing the path of passion, and more on channeling your passion in whatever path chooses you.

What is the one thing that people couldn’t pay you not to do?