My dream is to teach this class:
I would teach people how to eat spicy food. Pepper demand would soar. Chefs would rejoice. I would never wait for a Manhattan restaurant reservation again. And The New York Times would put me on A1: “Indian entrepreneur teaches white people the joy of eating spicy food.”
Unfortunately, there’s just one small problem.
I love eating spicy food, but nobody’s going to pay to take a stupid class on this.
This is the problem with “passion” — as Patty Smyth said, sometimes love just ain’t enough.
In fact, I was featured in an article with Mark Cuban and Barbara Corcoran, where we shared the worst career advice we’ve received.
Mark Cuban was quoted as saying the worst advice he got was “Follow your passions!”
Instead of waiting to find your passion, get good at something. Your passion will follow.
This is almost heretical to the “follow your passion” advice you hear thrown around by commencement speakers, career “experts,” and parents.
I’ve written a lot about finding your passion. But for today, I want to point out 3 myths.
3 myths about following your passion
MYTH #1: You have a single passion
Conventional advice (usually from struggling life coaches) is that there’s some magical job or “thing” out there that is your passion. One special activity that you were put onto this planet to do.
The problem is most people are passionate about a variety of things. And their passions aren’t static — they change over time. They evolve. How do you know which of your passions are “the one”?
Looking for a single passion closes doors. When you embrace all of your passions and skills, that’s when you can start mix-and-matching them to find exciting — and sometimes profitable — opportunities to do what you love.
MYTH #2: Follow your passion means you’ll live happily ever after
There’s this belief that once you find your passion, you’ll “never work a day in your life.” Everything will be easy.
The best thing about doing work you love is that it drives you to push through when things get hard. The people who love the work they do tend to be the hardest working people you’ll ever meet. They’re the ones staying up late or working weekends because they can’t help but put in extra hours.
MYTH #3: Following your passion is all or nothing
People assume that following your passions means quitting your job, buying a one way ticket to Europe and praying you don’t need your cancelled health insurance while you finish your debut novel.
You could do that, but I don’t recommend it. Your odds of success aren’t good, especially when you add the stress and risk of going all in. Instead, use the tripod of stability to keep the core parts of your life in order — your job, where you live, your friends or family — and save your creative energy for your passion.
In other words, you can follow your passion without devoting every second of your life to it. This is a revolutionary idea for many people. (And you’d be amazed at how much you can do with as little as 5 hours a week.)
The best way to follow a passion
Meet Julia. She loves to draw, but her passion didn’t take her far. She was making $8/hour drawing caricatures on the street and wondering what to do next.
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