Follow your passion. Turn your hobby into a business and you will never have to work again. A couple of those pithy sayings that fit perfectly as a social media quote or hashtag. It’s often poor advice. If you wish to live even slightly above the poverty line, quite often your passion or hobby just won’t pay the bills.
Actors know this well. Michael Caine is a good example. He did some shocking movies. He freely admitted that he did them for the money. This allowed him to then pick and choose the roles he wanted to do because they involved a subject matter that was important to him.
Many in the entertainment industry speak about their passion projects. Pursuing a passion project that might not have an audience or customer base is risky. Better to have a solid financial footing before following that course.
We only hear about the people who were successful at following their passion and turned it onto a career. That is part of the problem. The media doesn’t really care for the other 99% who didn’t succeed.
Mike Rowe the down to earth host of Dirty Jobs and the mikeroweWORKS charitable foundation says it best. Learn to love and be passionate about what you do to earn money. Notice this is the other way around to the normal saying. He should know as the presenter of stories on people who do some unusual and downright disgusting jobs. The common theme is the people seem to enjoy their work.
The other reason this is good advice is you control your success. Don’t adopting the build it and they will come attitude. This relies on other people having the same passion as you and are willing to pay you something for their involvement. Instead, find something that you have the skills to complete (or the ability to learn) and is already in demand. You have 100% control over how much enjoyment and passion you derive from that job.
This comes from a much larger principle that only you have control over how you interpret a situation. You can be sitting on a train and a young child is running around causing a nuisance. The mother is not appearing to care. You can get tense, shoot glaring looks at the mother and generally get upset that your peace is being disturbed. Other you can sit back, say something to yourself like, it’s only a short ride and I’ll be home soon. Who knows, the mother might normally do something about it however this day she just found out she has lost her job and has other things on her mind.
This is one of the best paths to a happy life. It works in both personal and work lives. You may see people who have appeared to follow their passion and it has work out for them. Many times it is not quite that simple. More a case they wanted a certain lifestyle, such as a quite small town lifestyle, and found after a while the town had a need for something they could fulfil.
So next time you are having a bad day at work, don’t start day dreaming about running your own surf tours. Think about how you can make changes to your current job and learn to love going to work. Then you can spend your down time surfing without the worry of having to look after customers and making sure you can find some decent waves for them.
- Have you changed the way you look at situations for the better?
- When was the last time you implemented something to make your current job better?