Mike Rowe explains how following one’s passion may not be such a good idea.
He brings a sober message that many passions are actually traps and are likely to bring more unhappiness than you can ever imagined.
Living in LA, I have not seen so many aspiring actors or writers working at restaurants and coffee shops but I have seen many talking about their dream that will come true soon.
In fact, my roommate always talks about his friend that wants to be a celebrity and has not done much for many years.
So why is following passion so dangerous?
First, many passions are just extremely competitive. We can’t all be NBA stars or Oscar winning actors. The odds are too high. It’s like trying to beat a casino, it doesn’t work.
Second, there is a high opportunity cost following your passion. You have to literally forego many opportunities to make money and build skills to solely focus on your passion. That is a big cost. Well, you may argue that the journey is important as well, which I agree. But when you don’t have enough to live on because your passion cost you so much then we have big problems.
Third, passion can become an obsession. Many celebrities and famous people talk about becoming crazy about their careers. Of course, this sounds awesome after they have succeeded but let’s not forget that obsession is never a good thing. Obsession clouds our judgment and makes us make not so smart decisions. When one’s mind is obsessed, it will force you to make crazy decision. Just look back at failed relationships, see how certain obsessiveness made things grow crazy.
Finally, it is a lie that your life is unhappy unless you follow your passion. Many people have very good lives without following their passion. People admit that not being a good athlete or performed forced them to learn other skills that put food on their table. Others talk about how their failed career helped them get a job and form a family and have a good life. So it is a lie that only passion brings happiness. If that was the case, the world would be an extremely depressing and gloomy place.
So should you not follow your passion?
Well, this is a decision that an individual has to make. Just remember that there are many costs in following one’s passion. Also, remember to cut your losses early if you see things going down hill. Finally, remember that many people have good lives without following their passion 😀