Is the notion of ‘passion’ overestimated or underestimated?

Is the notion of ‘passion’ overestimated or underestimated?

In the last year and a half, the idea of passion has concerned me more and more. Was it the lockdown that enabled this pondering, or had I reached a point in my life where my daily routine was not satisfying me anymore? Or the constantly increasing levels of tiredness and frustration in my everyday life? Maybe I had reached a life threshold of necessary changes?

Since I paused my work due to pregnancy, the notion of passion has prevailed in my mind occupying a fair amount of daily contemplation. According to the Cambridge dictionary, passion is ‘a very powerful feeling, for example of sexual attractionlovehateanger, or other emotions’ and ‘extreme interest in or wish for doing something, such as a hobbyactivity, etc’. 

Hmmm… but what are really my extreme interests? Do I have any? Is my job my only passion worthing of all my energy and efforts? What if I am not passionate about things? If my job is my primary passion, why do I frequently experience frustration, disappointment or fatigue? Should my professional occupation be a strong passion of mine? Do I even have time for cultivating hobbies in my life?

Exercise, mainly running, has been an enormous love and hobby of mine for several years. I love running and have often participated in 10k running events, alone or with friends. In the last one or two years, guilts have been slowly creeping over me due to insufficient time or poor energy because of my demanding profession. 

A profession for which, by the way, I have been nurturing a big love and dedication; teaching is what I like and feel comfortable doing despite its challenges, let alone amid this pandemic. Perhaps I was not passionate enough about my so-called passions; otherwise, I would have the stamina to continue my running training without complaints or excuses, and a big smile would be printed on my face after every working day. Besides, Confucius famously remarked, ‘choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life’. Well, I cannot say this quote resonates with me.

Modern philosophy and research, though, have severe arguments and evidence against Confucius’ statement, which I now admit has been the source of my guilts about the life I lead. 

In their essay Follow your passion is crappy advice, The Minimalists ( converse with Cal Newport about why this conventional wisdom has been misleading and a rather feel-good statement for many decades. It takes hard work, effort, dedication and careful planning to turn your passion into a source of pure pleasure and income at the same time. Only being ardent about something won’t necessarily take us far, as we should cultivate our passion rather than blindly or naively follow it. And what about the feeling of excitement and a sense of purpose a passion bring us? Well, this feeling can quickly fade away after a while if we have not planned further steps for turning this passion into something tangible and meaningful. 

And that is the reason why I started this blog. I found myself hopping from one idea to another without frankly doing something about it. Running is great, but I don’t care about doing it professionally. Additionally, I cherish reading books lately on improving my professional skills, becoming a better teacher and colleague, and coaching colleagues and helping them become a better teacher-version of themselves, as other people have been motivating and guiding me. I additionally have gotten hooked on pilates and cardio via a YouTube channel I follow (fit.with.sally) and find it tremendously valuable for me, which made me think I should get proper training in this and start offering lessons to others. And what about this bell ringing inside my mind telling me I should run my own business at some point?

And I love my work, but I openly admit now that it isn’t the greatest passion of my life, and honestly, I do not want it to be. As Mark Manson, the author of the incredible book The subtle art of not giving a f*ck, states, ‘Who says you need to make money doing what you love? Since when does everyone feel entitled to love every fucking second of their job? Really, what is so wrong with working an okay, normal job with some cool people you like and then pursuing your passion in your free time on the side?’ ( This statement was enlightening and liberating for me. I can still be good at my work, productive, enthusiastic, creative, and responsible without considering it my absolute passion. This false perception is the generator of guilts, especially during mornings when the alarm goes off -before coffee- when I decide to quit my job, continue sleeping and dedicate myself in reading or running for the rest of my life. Or wonder why was I not born wealthy, so I don’t have to work. Yes, all these thoughts right before caffeine kicks in, then life seems again less dramatic.

I have been nurturing these ideas on my passions simultaneously because I have been full of creativity and energy, which has offered a new purpose in my life. I know, however, that just aspiration and inspiration will not satisfy me in the end and that I cannot fulfil all these wistful plans. Therefore, I began searching for the common variant on all the above ideas, and my conclusion was that what satisfies me is helping others and guiding them through changes to improve their lives or at least some parts of it. To dare changes.

This blog allows me to explore my skills, passions and interests with the aspiration to also support others in their journey to a more meaningful life with fewer guilts. I have realised that opting for action over theory and idealism can eventually bring me joy and peace of mind, the feeling of achievement. And if this comes via hard work and meticulous planning, let it be, I enjoy this process. At least, I can confidently state that I am passionate about finally exploring my passion(s) and finding the means to do so.

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