Passion is Priority

“Find the job you love, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.”

This quote is probably the most used quote when people talk about career and passion. If I can be honest with you though, I’d have to say, this is not true. Despite my disbelief in this quote/saying, I still went after a career I love and the highest paying one. Let me tell you why:

1. Because successful people are passionate about what they do. I really love observing people, especially successful ones. I’ve always noticed that successful people (whether famous or not) never really talk about how successful they are but they always talk about how they love what they do, how they love the challenges that come with their jobs and how they want to be the best. This is probably the main reason that jumpstarted my search for a job I love.

2. Because if I didn’t, I’d probably end up blaming the whole world for how miserable I am at work. Thankfully I never really reached the point of blaming anyone, but I was miserable. I always look for the best excuse not to go to work. Worst, I find every excuse why I can’t be the best at what I do. I felt it was not healthy for me and not fair to the company who pays me generously.

3. Because I want to tell my daughter (with all honesty) that I love what I do. Hopefully, my work and how I work inspires my daughter to do what she loves. As professor Larry Smith pointed out in his talk ‘Why You Will Fail to Have a Great Career’, would you tell your kids “I once had a dream, but then you were born (or some other excuse you might think of).” or “Follow your dreams, just like I did.”? These statements actually struck me the most. If I can’t find enough courage to pursue my passion for myself, at the least, I want to do it for my daughter.

4. Because when the going gets tough, my passion will drive me to move forward and not give up. In my 9+ years in IT, I was sidestepping challenges. No one will probably notice it because I was really good at it. I may be escaping the tough part of my job, but my career growth stopped. I just didn’t have enough passion to fight the challenges of my work. I didn’t have the same passion to learn. That hindered me to become the best at what I do. If I can’t find the drive to excel and be the best, then I knew it was time to move on.

5. Because I want my life to be defined by what I do and not by how much I make. Venture capitalist Guy Kawasaki said this in one of his talks: “If you do stuff simply for the money, you’ll probably end up miserable. You may end up miserable and poor, but you could also end up miserable and rich.” That’s what I felt like in the last few months of my IT work, miserable and not-so-poor-but-not-so-rich. As much as I want to make money, I’ve always believed that I shouldn’t work for money but work to make everyone’s lives more meaningful.

6. Because I never want to regret not ever going for it. I’ve had so many ‘What if?’ and ‘What could’ve been?’ moments that I didn’t want to add another one to my collection. This is the best reason why I continued to pursue my passion. I don’t want to always look back and drown myself with regret.

Finding our passion/what we love to do though is easier said than done. Simply looking for it or thinking about it won’t get us anywhere as sometimes we don’t even know what we love to do.

The best way to figure it out is to explore and experience. Before I landed this job I’m in, I tried a lot of things, from my own food business, to selling toys, selling shirts, writing, photography and a lot more. I like some, but never grew to love them. I never stopped looking though. If I like to try something out, I went for it and tried it! I likened finding our passion to finding the love of our life, it starts from dating to liking before it ends up to loving. And when we find it, just like love, we’ll just know sometimes without even knowing why.

As I was preparing to write this piece, I went back to my past blog posts and came across several videos about passion, career and success. Be inspired as you watch them:

Why You Will Fail To Have A Great Career by Larry Smith (this struck me the most)

2005 Stanford Commencement Speech by Steve Jobs

Want money, find passion by Guy Kawasaki

8 Secrets to Success by Richard St. John

This article was originally posted in Marvin Germo’s blog.

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3 Comments

  1. “Because I never want to regret not ever going for it.”

    I agree.

    There are itches that need to be scratched. Things just need to be done.

    Reply

  2. One thing I hate about that quote is that work is still work. I still wouldn’t do what I do if there wasn’t a paycheck attached.

    I love my job, but it is work. I love what I do everyday, but there are still times I want to bang my head on my desk until I knock myself unconscious.

    You are right about having passion. I want to be at work everyday. I have taken a pathetically small amount of sick time this year and very little vacation. I am almost constantly in the office. I am stressed out, frustrated, worn down, and loving every minute of it. If I didn’t love it, I would be the most miserable person I know.

    However, anyone wanting to not feel like they are working? Unlikely.

    Reply

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