“So what I’m not pursuing my passion, KG,” you say to me.
“So what?! I’d rather not have to worry about where my rent money is coming from than live with my head in the clouds.”
And you’re right, of course.You can measure a paycheck. You can count your hours, and you can divvy up your dollars. And you can’t measure passion. You can’t point to anything and say, “there. That’s what I’ve earned by pursuing my passion.” Plus, it's scary. You know what it means to be a banker. But what does "passion" even mean?
The answer is: because there are countless other benefits. Big ones. Ones you don’t even know you want, but you do.
• Energy – you know that heavy feeling we get as the workday draws to a close? That mental and physical state of feeling drained, like you’re dragging yourself along until 5? Maybe you don’t know what I’m talking about, and if that’s the case, you’re in a job that fits for you. But most of us have felt that, at some point or another…. Have you ever felt the opposite, though? Have you ever engaged in something that leaves you feeling energized rather than exhausted? Studies show that it is actually physically impossible for the brain to fatigue. It’s not a muscle. Our fatigue is actually the result of other factors. Namely boredom. You pursue something that excites you, though, and your whole body feels rejuvenated.
• Joy – What’s your favorite thing to talk about? Whatever it is, your entire face probably lights up when you do. What do you most enjoy doing – what, no matter the weather or how your hair looks, would you love spending a day doing? That’s joy. You do something you’re passionate about, and it fills your whole life with vibrancy. You resonate happiness. And that’s a good way to live.
• Timelessness – When you do something you love, you never check the clock. Four hours feels like ten minutes, and seems inconsequential to you. There never seems to be enough time for it – not out of obligation and squeezed time management, but because, given the choice, you’d dedicate eternity to doing it.
• “Real” rewards – Time and time again we hear that pursuits of passion yield greater financial gain. And yet we maintain our positions of skepticism. “That can’t be. I’m going into medicine. All doctors are wealthy.” But passionate people reap far more rewards – one study showed that, of a group of people, 83% admitted to choosing their career, first and foremost, by the income it promised. The other 17% said they pursued something they love. Twenty years later, there was only one millionaire in the first group. To repeat: only one single person - in a group of over 1,200 - achieved a million dollars in two decades. On the other hand, of the 255 people in the second group, there were a hundred. Let me clarify: almost 40% of those who went after their passions became millionaires.
Cast-off your passion, and you’re also rejecting a lot of potential for success and happiness.
Embrace it, and it will deliver extra bundles of bliss throughout your life.