DO NOT Follow Your Passion (Yes, You heard it right, here's WHY)

12:58 AM Saturday, June 19, 2021 adrian oh 2 Comments


You might hear this all the time, shouted by the motivational gurus. 

But watch out, this is a trap.

Why "follow your passion", is often misunderstood and overrated?

Nobody is Born with Passion - Neither do we suddenly find "our passion" too. The path to passion is is mostly a life long process of discovery and reflection. We have to put in the work for it.     

You Could Have Lot of Passion -  Are you passionate about programming or painting? or are you more passionate about basketball or football? Often time, it's difficult to tell. Instead, look into what you are good at. eg Are you good at programming or painting? This is probably easier to figure it out. One way to discover what you are good at, is by asking yourself if there is something that you can do absolutely best with the least amount of efforts?

Passion Changes Over Time - What you are passionate about as a child, might not necessarily be the things you are passionate about when you are at your 20s,  30s, or 40s. People changes with time and experience as grow elder, so does our passion.

You might Suck at Your Passion - I am very very passionate about basketball, but i'm also consciously aware that I will never be as good as my idols, both Michael Jordan #23 and Kobe Bryant #24. The truth is, you might not be good at your passion. Just because you like singing, doesn't mean you will win America's Got Talent! I talked about how people often mistaken their passion as something they are good at in "100,000 reasons why should not start your own biz"

Follow Your Passion is Too "Self-Centered" - To fuel your passion sustainably, you need to feel good about it. So how do you feel good about your passion? It often goes back to "What do you contribute?", "Whom do you serve?" and "What positive impact you are making to the people and environment around you?". It simply means finding ways you can contribute and serve other people with your passion. We are social creatures, there's certain thing hardwired in us, helping other people makes us feel good. It feels awesome when our passion are contributing to something which is bigger than ourselves, it gives us a sense of purpose. 

But wait...

Successful people like to tell you, that the reasons for their success, is they love what they do. 

So you might conclude that...if you do what you love, then you will be successful! Wow, sounds simple isn't it. 

Or it could also mean... if you are successful (already), you love what you do. You just love being successful and everybody loves you - it's phucking awesome!

So, which one is it?

For one second, Thinking for yourself. It is not easy as there is a lot of noise around you. But it will be profound once you realize that passion is something that we can develop. It all starts with curiosity and interest.

You don't necessarily have to have, passion, yet. 

However, everyone gotta have at least a little spark of interest in something - this is all you need to start develop your passion.

Passion often starts with Curiosity. Curiosity leads to Interest. Interest leads to Action (learning by doing something about it). Action leads to Progress. Progress means Results and Perceived Growth. Results and perceived growth make us feel good about ourselves, and it levels up our Interest, motivates us to put in even more energy in action which will leads to even more progress. 

When you see results in something, you will want to do it more, this is where the virtuous cycle kicks in. In short, below is where the magic of virtuous cycle starts.

Curiosity -> Interest -> Action -> Progress -> Results / Perceived Growth -> Refueling more Interest x Action x Progress.  

You can see what started off as a little spark of interest, can be turned into a burning inferno via the virtuous cycle. Furthermore, if this is what you feel you can contribute to the world and make a difference, this could be an undying passion!

Passion for something leads to disproportionate time practicing or working at it. That time spent eventually translates to skill, and when skill improves, results improve. Better results generally lead to more enjoyment, and more passion and more time is invested. It can be a virtuous cycle all the way to extraordinary results. - Gary Keller

So starting looking inwards, in search of your spark of interest. Your job is to ignite the spark of interest via the above process, and turn it into a mastery. Because so good that, the world can't ignore you.

Trust the process.
Trust the process.
Trust the process.

Mamba Out.



  1. I like the phrase
    Trust the process

    From siamkia

    1. hi bro, spot on. if we design it correctly, and follow through the process.

      we shall see progress + perceived growth aka RESULTS.