The inscrutable Medium recommendation algorithm works in waves, at least for me. Some days I see infinite suggestions on how I can become rich with side hustles. Some other days Medium thinks I am interested in DeFi or note-taking applications.
These days Medium is thinking that I am interested in finding my passions.
Passion is interesting as a theme for a post.
Most Medium posts state that we need to find out passions to be happy in life. Let’s see if that is the case.
As a general rule of thumb, I always start with defining what I am talking about. We all need to be on the same page to understand what I’m writing.
If I look up passion in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, here is what I can find.
- The state or capacity of being acted on by external agents or forces.
- Emotions as distinguished from reason.
- Intense, driving, or overmastering feeling or conviction.
- An outbreak of anger.
- Ardent affection.
- A strong liking or desire for or devotion to some.
- Activity, object, or concept.
- An object of desire or deep interest.
I have omitted some of the definitions for clarity. If you want to have a look at the original meaning, click here passion
If we think of the term passion, I am sure that each of us will find in the definitions above something that resemble our meaning of passion.
We should focus on the fact that, for the most part, those definitions do not seem to sit on the positive side of things. Most of the descriptions suggest that if passion drives us, we are subject to the influence of an external force. It also seems that we are not in control of those external forces, which is not good.
So it seems that passion is driven by an external force difficult to control and steer. If this is the case, I found it challenging to think that this can lead to happiness.
Another interesting point is that you may have found a passion, but what if you suck at that passion? I love drawing, and I think it can be called a passion. Following that passion would mean that I should spend more time practicing it to be happy. The reality is that I could not make a living with drawing. Ultimately, it is a passion that will not make me happy in the long run.
If passion is an ardent affection or a strong liking or desire for or devotion to something, it makes you blind to what surrounds you and the relations between the parts that make your life worth living.
I find the narrative around passion a little bit naive. Make what I say, not what I do.
Following your passion is terrible advice and can end up being harmful.
The main issue is that you build an ideal picture of your passion, how it can make you happy, and how it is in the real world. Unfortunately, it is a concept that lives only in your brain. Reality is going to be a different ball game.
Being driven by a passion may give you the impression that the path you are going to follow is an easy one. We all know that there are no easy paths. A passion requires commitment. Even if you are a natural with your passion, it will not be as simple as you think.
I prefer to talk about inclinations instead of passions. Following your inclinations is a piece of much better advice.