‘Should I go for something I am passionate about or go for the money?’ I hear people ask this question a lot when looking for a new direction in life. The truth is, if they had a passion already they wouldn’t be asking the question.
The good thing is it is never too late to discover your passion. I am passionate about quite a few things and lucky to be able to work in those areas. I found that whilst working in a particular area, say film, I could go for days without eating properly and wouldn’t notice. I could go for days without sleep and not notice because I had that extra supply of adrenalin energy you get from doing what you enjoy. How do you know if you’ve found your passion? If circumstance doesn’t dictate how often you do it or how long you stick to it and if you would do it regardless of pay, there’s a good chance this is what you should be doing!
If you are at a crossroads and have asked yourself the question of passion or money, I humbly recommend going for passion every time. Below are 8 reasons why:
1. The days are longer if you are not passionate about what you are doing.
Ever been out on an enjoyable date and the hours flew by? Imagine getting paid to work for what seems like a few hours a day when in reality it is 8 or 9. That’s what passion does for you.
2. Working for money is tiring and soul destroying in the long run. Working with passion means never having trouble getting out of bed to get to work. Sure you could be physically tired occasionally, but when tired is coupled with a job that is tolerated for all the wrong reasons, everything is that much harder and much more of a drudge.
Now you might question how one can be expected to be fussy about one’s line of work in these tight budgeted times, or if you have responsibilities. The short answer is that these times won’t last. If it is not something you can change tomorrow you can start planning it so you are ready when the tide turns.
Very little that is worthwhile and sturdy was built on a whim in one day. Plan. Research.
3. The money will more than likely come anyway because you are effortlessly putting in the hours without even feeling them. I can vouch for that personally.
4. Should the money fade you will still have passion. This is a very privileged position. There are a lot of people who have not found their passion. With both money and passion together it will be mind blowing…I promise.
5. It is harder to be mis-directed from your path when you have passion. You get a stronger gut feeling with true passion. It comes from having studied an area of interest for a long time. You become more confident about yourself and your subject.
6. Not many people are fulfilled by money. I have spent a lot of time in very monied company. One thing that hung over me like a bad smell was a deep sense of dissatisfaction and disenchantment. If this was merely a few people I had met I would pass it off as coincidence. However this was not the case. On the other hand, my time with folks on the other end of the spectrum in various parts of the world was fairly rich and joyful. The trick is to have both! Financial satisfaction and fulfillment.
7. True passion comes from within and therefore is one of the few things that we have absolute control over. Even if we are careful with our own money, banks, governments or pension fund managers can do things on our behalf that diminishes our hard won cash. Only we can allow our passion to diminish or grow.
8. Passion is magical and intangible. Unlike money it cannot be stolen or taken. For example, the folks who go on talent shows and listen to a judge being negative about them and then emerge tearfully saying that their ‘career’ is all over never had true passion or undaunted desire in the first place.
The judge may even be right about their lack of sufficient natural talent, but that would never stop someone with drive and passion.
We could all probably name a few famous names who have more passionate drive than outstanding talent.
All in all go for passion. If you are not familiar with your passion yet, keep looking. You will know when you find it. You can monetize your passion, you cannot ‘passionize’ or impassion your money. In other words, your passion can earn you money, but your money will never earn you passion.
Pea writes for Simple Humble – a website celebrating simplicity and beautiful, simple things.
Photo credit: Edward Dullard
Don’t forget to sign up for the PickTheBrain NEWSLETTER!