The fallacy of chasing one’s passion

I love how in the midst of dilemma, we can still look through the internet to see the journeys traversed by those before us and take their advice.

I was reading an inspiring article about a teacher who left the job (s)he loved for a “boring” accounting job. In some ways, I could relate to the idealistic views (s)he had about teaching and the burnout (s)he eventually felt.

I really liked this quote:

It took some painful life lessons and some hard financial times to learn that doing what you love is, in fact, absolutely not the paradigm we need to follow as individuals or a society. Instead, get out there and grab what affords you the most opportunities to be the best overall person you can be.

Your career is just one part of your life. You might not become a much happier person just because you do the work that satisfies you the most.

maslow-pyramid-bigI think in this day and age, there is a lot of pressure for young people to chase after what they love or their so called passion. In the past few years, I took on interesting and vastly different jobs, visiting  place  I never dreamed I would end up in and meeting different people while trying to grasp at this elusive concept of finding one’s passion and happiness.

Only to realize that what I already have and the simple things one often overlooks – love, friendship, family – are really the best things in the world.

In the end, I knew which path to take where I could give more value with my skills and which path would allow me to improve myself as an individual and give even more value to those around me. I don’t think it means that I have given up on chasing my passions or doing what I love, I think it just means chasing it in different forms.

In the end, if we have clear passions, we will find them some way or another even if we don’t take the most direct routes. Like in Maslow’s pyramid, we have to satisfy our basic needs first and find balance in our lives before we can go for something more. That’s what I believe.