Steven Pressfield wrote the best book on turning pro. He doesn’t talk about being passionate. I don’t remember one single line in the book about passion. The War of Art, I’ve read it 3 times. I’ll read it 3 more times.
Most passion is bull shit and will get you in trouble. My passion gets me in more trouble than helps me. I don’t know anything about passion helping me at my job. It usually freaks people out.
You have to follow your passion? Blah blah blah. Following passion may cause you to fall off a cliff or into the wrong person’s bed and at the wrong end of a shotgun.
I’m completely qualified to discuss how passion can ruin your life. I even won an award for my passion. I don’t know how that happened.
Having passion sounds sexy and cool. Having passion may even get you around more beautiful people.
Pursuing success and passion are the rabbit hole. “Take the red pill and you wake up in Wonderland”. Passion is The Matrix.
Passion is a byproduct
Gasoline is a byproduct of oil. Invention is mostly a happy accident of curiosity and tinkering. Batteries, a happy accident, a byproduct of something that happened in a steel mill. Really smart people call it the adjacent possible.
Passion is the adjacent possible that comes from pursuing any work or venture out of curiosity and then passion shows up late to the party. You think wow what took you so long passion.
Measuring passion is like trying to measure the current in a river. It is fleeting. Just when you notice it is here it is already gone. A pro knows that passion comes and goes. Some days you are in love and other days you hate your kids.
Passion makes me a terrible father. Commitment and routine make me a better father. Passion is fire that left unchecked will burn a hole in my chest.
But don’t you have to love what you do?
Love is not passion. Love is altogether something different. Love doesn’t just arrive at the door when you ask her to. Love has to be nurtured and developed. Like a delicate flower that grows serendipitously.
Passion is more like lust. You have to be right. They have to be wrong. You just have to have the forbidden fruit. You must have the object of your desire. I have to be rich. If I can just be the boss then everything will be better.
If I can just ….(fill in the blank)
We can go on for days here. If I can just be promoted then my wife will respect me. If I can just be passionate about Tax Law then I won’t want to blow my brains out.
If I can just get her to notice me then she will let me have sex with her and then we can have a house, kids, dogs, and credit cards bills.
If I can just get my boss off my back then I’ll perform better.
If I can just be passionate about my job then I’ll be happy.
There is no “If I can just “ it’s the red pill in The Matrix. This constant thought pattern will ruin your life. Add some passion to this thought pattern and then you are in for a disaster.
You can’t stop the thought pattern from coming. You can stop it from running wild in your mind. Be aware when the “If I can just” thought pattern infests your mind and makes its home in your brain.
Curiosity is better than passion
I’m curious about people. I don’t know why. I go anywhere I want to hear your story. Others would say wow he is really passionate about people. I’m not really. I’m curious.
I sell for a living. Selling from a position of curiosity works better for me than selling from a position of passion.
1 + 1 = 0
Being passionate about your work plus working for a company who is passionate about other things equals zero.
For example, you are passionate about improving your company’s product. The company is passionate about cutting costs. This formula equals zero. Go to the higher ups. Determine what they are most interested in. If there is alignment then you have something. If not, plan your exit strategy.
It is difficult for your personal passion to align with your boss or even the CEO. Finding that alignment is key. When there is alignment your job is 10 times as fulfilling.
If you don’t know what you’re passionate about. That’s okay. Be grateful that your passion isn’t digging you a deeper hole where you are at.
Stop trying to find your passion
Worry less about what you’re passion about. Instead focus on what you are curious about. Do an inventory of what interests you. Ask those you are closest to what you’re good at.
Ride the river of curiosity and along the way and the currents of passion will carry you.