Myth: “If you do what you love you won’t work a day in your life”
They say that following your passion is effortless, requires no work, creates no stress and is otherwise easy. No they don’t normally say that word for word but there’s some insinuation, isn’t there? You’ve all heard it before, the cliche statement. The one that says “If you do what you love, you won’t work a day in your life.
If you’re like me, (and you probably are to some level,) you’ve fallen victim to this myth. Allow me to explain. You find something you love, something you’re “passionate” about. You go in head first and begin chasing that passion.
Almost instantly you run into trouble, an obstacle or an issue. That of course leads to stress, which leads to anxiety, which removes the joy from your “passion,” which finally leads you to the conclusion.
The conclusion that you no longer love doing what you’re doing, that you are no longer passionate about it. This will likely result in a departure from your passion. I have been here before, many times!
So what happens here? Did your passion fade? Do you conclude that you are evolving, and due to this evolution your dreams change and your passions come and go?
Maybe it’s because you found that passion was hard. Doing what you love was work after all. Not only would you have to work but you would have to sacrifice for it!
Reality: “If you do what you love you will work every minute of your life”
Now that we’ve addressed the myth, what is the reality of following your passion? Can it be that following your passion will actually lead to stress, anxiety? What kind of sacrifices will you have to make for it?
Let’s explore a few examples.
Take for instance Hollywood actor, Sylvester Stallone. Most famous for his Rocky and Rambo series this man is a pinnacle of career accomplishments.
Go ahead and google him for some specifics. Thumb through a couple tabloids. You will find countless achievements, award nominations and winnings, many of them. What you won’t find just as readily is the pain, stress and sacrifice Stallone endured.
In pursuit of his passion the actor recalls being tossed out of agents offices over 1500 times in search of a movie role. He found himself broke, hungry, cold and miserable as he was met with denial after denial. At his lowest point he was forced to sell his dog, his best friend at the local liquor store, because he couldn’t afford food for both himself and his dog. I think it safe to say that Stallone’s passion was a lot of work.
How about a mother? My wife and I recently became parents to a beautiful baby girl.
If you ask Tanya to name her number one passion, she will state without hesitation it’s being a mother! It is her life’s purpose, her passion and deepest love (next to being stuck with me, of course)! In pursuit of her passion she went through the excruciating pain of childbirth. In pursuit of her passion she endures countless sleepless nights feeding and caring for our baby.
Her days are filled with dirty diapers and thankless efforts to raise our child. It’s safe to say that Tanya’s passion is a ton of work!
Jesus Christ has a passion, doesn’t he? His passion and love for humanity resulted in stress, ridicule, betrayal, pain and suffering. All this followed by the ultimate sacrifice, death. I think it is safe to say that his passion was a ton of Work!
So what’s to gain from the radically contrasting examples I have provided?
How does an aspiring actor compare to a nursing mother, compare to the son of god?
There are several common factors I want to highlight. First off, each holds a deep passion, desire and a love for something.
Furthermore, regardless of the passion, there is much pain, discomfort and sacrifice endured in pursuit of the passion. Passion does not discriminate based on age, gender, color, cultural background or any other factor.
Passion can be described in many positive words such as exciting, exhilarating, fulfilling and downright fun. But make no mistake about it, passion is tough, passion is demanding and passion will make you Work Work Work!!
And… it will always be worth it!!!
There IS a better way to live!