Why Passion is Overrated

By Jade Pearlhouse (contributor), Career Counsellor, Amazon Best-selling Author

You often hear this: “Find your passion.  That’s your calling!  That’s what hugely successful people do!”

Yet, after teaching career strategies for ten years, I have solid evidence to tell you that passion is overrated.

Many people have more than one passion.  If you are one of them, maybe you are passionate about movies, music, sports, reading, and so forth.  We are all multidimensional individuals.

In Cal Newport’s book So Good, They Can’t Ignore You, he talks about why simply doing something is better than spending a lot of time looking for your passion.  And I agree with Cal.

You may wonder, “But Steve Jobs emphasized the importance of passion in his speech, didn’t he?  He found his passion.  That’s why he was so successful.”

However, the suggestion is: Don’t listen to what Steve Jobs said; look at what he actually did.

Steve Jobs had many passions, and his Apple empire happened to be one of them.  What actually happened was: when he was deciding what to do in his career, he chose something that he was good at, something that he loved and something that the market would pay for.  The intersection of those three areas was his Apple empire.

Therefore, instead of constantly trying to find your passion.  Ask yourself these questions:  What did you enjoy doing when you were a child?  What can you keep talking about all day now?

(Jade Pearlhouse is an Australian author, career strategist and university educator.  She regularly writes at www.jadepearlhouse.com)

Jade Pearlhouse
Jade Pearlhouse is an Australian educator, author and academic/career strategist. She has contributed to the success of Flinders University, University of South Australia, the University of Adelaide, Australian Institute of Translation and Interpretation and Australian national curriculum.