At one point in time, you’ve probably heard someone tell you to “follow your passion” or to “pursue your dreams”. It’s a piece of advice almost everyone has gotten at least once in their lives. However, following your passion is not always as ideal as it seems. In some cases, it is downright bad advice. If you’re dead set on pursuing your dreams, here are 4 harsh truths about following your passion:
Your passion might not be your true calling
Passion is a vague term. It often refers to something many people start out treating as a hobby. For example, enjoying a night out of karaoke every weekend does not necessarily mean you were destined to become a world famous rockstar. We tend to consider activities that make us happy with activities we were destined to do. But this is often not the case. There’s nothing wrong with being passionate about your hobbies. If you’re really certain you could transform your hobby into a career, however, you should spend some time really delving into it and weighing your options. There might be other opportunities present that you might not have considered yet.
You might not actually be good at your passion
This is likely the most difficult truth to accept. You may love doing something with all your heart, but that does not necessarily mean you are good at it. Or good enough to compete with others within your field. The ideal question to ask yourself when considering pursuing a dream is this: ‘Would people be willing to pay me for this?’. If the answer is no, this is probably not the best career option to take. However, your passion for something can make you persevere at it. You might be willing to put more effort into bettering yourself compared to those with ‘natural talent’. Therefore, if you truly want your passion to turn into a full-time job, keep working to improve yourself. All successful endeavors require hard work.
Following your passion is not always fun
Here’s another harsh reality about following your dreams: following your dreams does not mean you will only be working on your dreams. For example, if you passion is singing, following your passion will not get you singing all day every day. The reality is that pursuing a singing career comes with other mundane and time-consuming responsibilities you’re likely not going to enjoy. So your dream of becoming a singer is going to cause 90% of your time to include things like business meetings, contract signings and auditions while only the remaining 10% might be devoted to actual performances. So even though you’re following your passion, your job description is going to involve various other tasks you have little to no passion for.
Your passion can change
It’s probably a lot more convenient to assume that we all have one lifelong passion. In an ideal world, that might be true. However, reality shows that our ‘life purpose’ evolves with time. As you grow, travel and mature, you will begin to find new meanings in the things you do. If you insist on pursuing your passion as a career, understand that your feelings can change. The way you think about singing, for instance, can change once you’ve actually entered the entertainment industry. Being paid to do what you love changes everything. Will you be as passionate about performing when you realise you’re struggling to pay off debts or dealing with difficult clients every day?
Life is complex, but that is the way it is. The ultimate advice for following your passion is this; proceed with caution. It could be a potential and fruitful career path, but will not always be what you expect.
An adventurous digital nomad. When I’m not writing, I spend my free time watching documentaries, drinking coffee and planning my next travel.