We live in a world oversaturated with people who think if they can just ‘do their passion’ they’ll be happy, that their problems will somehow magically fade away, and that they’ll finally be able to live their ideal life.
But the truth is that if we all lived only by our passions, most of us would be broke. Not only that, we’d be divorced (again, for many). And on top of that, we’d be frustrated with our lives because we wouldn’t be able to get any traction or control. Nobody, especially the marketplace, cares about your passion. They don’t care about mine either, so don’t take offense to that statement.
Here are two undeniable reasons you should not let your passion dictate your life if you care about yourself or your loved ones:
The marketplace doesn’t care about your passion. But they care a LOT about what your ‘skill set’ can do for them. The marketplace will pay you for the level of value you can give them. They will not pay you to enjoy your work. In fact, at the end of the day, they don’t care if you enjoy it. They just want you to do it.
Passion is based purely on emotion and decisions made based on emotion are almost never good ones. Passion is unpredictable because it’s path can change suddenly (like a tornado) based entirely on circumstances outside of our control, and without warning. Like a tornado, it’s path cannot be entirely predicted- which make it dangerous and unreliable.
If you live and make decisions purely based on emotion (‘your passion’), people will not trust you. Therefore, they won’t want to be around you. Or hire you. Or do business with you. People want to be around, hire, and do business with people they know, like, and can trust to get the job done right- on time, every time.
If every decision you make is based on emotion (your passion), you are not dependable and cannot be trusted to maintain any level of integrity because your standard will be subject to change randomly based on situations outside of your control.
While it’s important to have a sense of fulfillment in our work, we have to consider what value we can offer to the world and then figure out a way to tie it into what we enjoy doing.
What skills do you have? Personal or professional skills? Make a list. Then, figure out which specific problems you can solve for a particular group of people using those skills. Then, go offer it as a solution and charge a fee for it. The greater their need to solve a problem, the more they will pay you to fix it for them.
“But Brian, money isn’t everything. Plus, money is the root of all evil.”
Money is not the root of all evil. Most people who make this claim are usually misquoting the Bible (see 1 Timothy 6:10- more on that in another post). In fact, the LACK of money produces just as much, if not more evil, than having money because the lack of money has been notoriously proven throughout history to turn people against each other during desperate times.
While I agree ‘money isn’t everything,’ I know from personal experience that without it you can’t have *anything*,** even the essentials to survive or help others survive who are less fortunate.
Without an abundance of money at your disposal, no good or worthy cause can be funded or fulfilled. It’s like my first mentor told me:
“Brian, money is like grease on the machine. It allows it to run proficiently and fulfill it’s purpose. But without the money, the machine will seize up, break down, and fail.”
That machine is your life. It’s your business. It’s the company you work for that pays you a paycheck so you can pay your bills, have a home to live in, and feed your family. It’s the non-profit organization helping kids in Africa who can’t afford clothes or shoes or proper nutrition. That cause is a worthy one and fulfilling it’s purpose is vital- and it won’t get done without money.
Your passion on it’s own won’t make your life better. But offering your skill set from a position of value to the marketplace can make you very wealthy, very fulfilled with the work you do, and allow you to support worthy causes that help others who are less fortunate.
Your life, your money, and your purpose are about so much more than you and your happiness. In fact, you’ll only find true and lasting fulfillment when you use them in service to others for a greater cause beyond yourself.
Are you a military veteran? Do you know a military veteran? If you want to discover how to win your daily inner battles, take a peek at my book, REDEPLOYED: How Combat Veterans Can Fight The Battle Within and Win The War at Home. I think you'll enjoy it. ;)