The common advice out there is well known. It says “follow your passion”.
Well, how many of you are doing that?
How many of you have a need to create energy around a cause or idea?
If you do, here’s my uncommon advice:
Don’t follow your passion: Let it follow you.
Here’s my concern with this idea of following your passion.
It’s a passive idea. Because following suggests undirected, “led” and reactive. Which, in my experience, doesn’t create a lot of tangible activity.
But by now you might be asking yourself:
“Is this just wordplay”?
If you’ve read my (now quiet) Quixoting ideas blog before or read the free ebook (I Can See Clearly Now), you’ll know that I lived for many years following my passion. I followed it by writing ideas down, talking about them to friends and family, making small investments of time and money and in one more way:
I longed for the day when I could do something more. I longed for the creative freedom I would feel when one of the ideas came to life. And I longed for the feeling of satisfaction I would get when took real action.
Well, longing sucks.
So if you have an idea, a passion, a calling or anything in life that you want to awaken, it’s time to stop following it and start leading it.
Begin today to move with such confident, proactive steps that the passion itself has to catch up to you. To draft off of your speed and be pulled along by it.
And while there’s a real cozy comfort in telling people about the idea that you’ll act on someday (to talk a good game), it doesn’t lead to results.
People will say: “That’s cool. I like that idea”. They’ll give you credit for having an idea.
But what they often won’t say is:
“You’ve told me about that idea before. What are you going to do about it?”
I had a career coach/friend tell me once to stop.
About five years ago. In a conversation that went something like this:
FRIEND: “Tim, stop it.
ME: “Stop what?”
FRIEND: For the last 45 minutes you’ve been telling me about all the great things you’d like to do in your life. Things that would make you happy. Fulfill you. So I need to ask you stop doing it.”
ME: “I don’t understand. These are important things to me.”
FRIEND: “I know. That’s why you need to stop.”
ME: “Stop what?”
FRIEND: “Stop longing. I’m tired of hearing about it. So I’m asking you to stop”
ME: (long uncomfortable pause)
This conversation preceded my 2007 job search and was the jolt I needed to shift my life’s focus from following to leading. It moved me from curious and cautious to acting. And that, as they say, has made all the difference.
It led me to my portfolio career. It led me to begin actually developing the non-traditional job I had been longing to create my whole life. And it shoved my in front of the bus I needed to be hit by. To knock me out of a passive approach to life.
So while this post may not be the bus you need to be hit by, perhaps it will be enough to help you see something.
You’ll never see your possible future come to life unless you stop.
Don’t follow your passion.
Instead, start carving the path ahead. So that your passion can follow you.
Thanks woodleywonderworks for the great photo via flickr
Written by: Tim Tyrell-Smith
Tags: a passion | follow your passion | human interest | ideas blog | kenny marks | longings | my passion | passion | start | suggest | the passion | your passion
Categories: Career And Life Development