I've been in Human Resources for a bit now. Seventeen years with the City of Detroit and 24 years overall. One of the things that I know for sure is that "I think for a living, but I live for passion." I ran across a Forbes Article from July 5, 2018
Michal, I disagree. Following passion is not dead.
"Passion," he goes on to say (citing a Stanford research paper) "pre-supposes that interests and passions are fixed rather than fluid and evolving as we age and gain wisdom and experience."
Neither passion nor the interests that fuel them are set.
Passion is the explorative journey to align interests with your authentic self, wrapped in your knowledge and motivation to do something WITH those interests and your authentic self.
Whether one evolves or leans more into an epiphany of oneself (you had it all along, Dorothy...), passion is never fixed and, therefore, following it only dies when you stay in misalignment. It takes grit to keep fueling passion with interest and motivation, because a small misalignment may seem as if the kindling is fading.
I thought that I might review a few of Bohanes' points a bit for a different look at passion.
Passion should ignore the market as a pursuit. Some of the best and most innovative ideas come from pursuing that problem, that interest that YOU have discovered. Build a garden around it, and people will find you because there is always somebody moved to a decision by the passion of others. Look at the most notable brands from which you have purchased. Functionality, check. Purpose, check. Passion of founder, check. Think Jobs, Bezos, Jay-Z. Did these founders first search the market or their strengths? Passion makes you pursue things in an area of YOUR interest, not merely the market, and some cases, not the market at all.
Assess your strengths, yes, but see them through the eyes of your passion. I've always done very well in math, but my passion, at least one of them, is people. If I had pursued that strength, without passion, I might be one unhappy CPA. Seeing math through the eyes of my passion has allowed me to find problems and gaps and solve them. Some of them. Ok, I had fun trying. You get the point. People will always need accountants, and although I could supply reliable accountancy, my ikigai (my reason for getting out of the bed in the morning) is my passion (interest+ motivations+ developed strengths) for solving people's problems. That's passion gold for me.
Bohanes goes on to provide his spin of Maslow's hierarchy of needs: Be physically and mentally healthy; get an income; get a plan, and if you must, follow your passion.
My take? You must follow your passion, which means actively pursue your interests and align them with motivation and skill. Then you get a plan that will achieve the highest expression of yourself and purpose. Next, you get an income that supports the life that you are building, and finally, you will be physically and mentally healthy because a real journey of passion requires you to demonstrate excellent self-care.
Now that's passion, living passion, worth following.