Forget passion for your job, loving your job will make you wildly successful.
If you love your job, you will never work a day in your life. Bull**it.
Now let’s take the same sentence and change just one word. Ask yourself it it still makes sense: If you love your wife, you will never work a day in your life.
Then you get a divorce.
Do you see it? The passion argument is full of hot air, it is over used to sell books, to sell conferences and to sell dissatisfaction. Things that are important, like a long term relationship or our jobs take work. And work has a funny way of looking like chores, self-discipline, bills, reports, meetings, daily routines, the unglamorous grind.
Follow Passion and You will Fall
Can we recover some sanity and learn to love our work, even after the passion fades? Tough question, I know. I ask myself that every day.
To find the answer, I consulted differencebetween.net. They highlight three differences between love and passion in relationships:
1. Love is a state of living, while passion is a state of being.
2. Passion lasts for a short while, but love lasts for a long time.
3. In love, deeper understanding is the essence, while passion doesn’t require it.
Now let’s adjust the list and make it about work:
1. Love in your work is a state of living, while passion in your work is a state of being.
2. Passion in your work lasts for a short while, but love in your work lasts for a long time.
3. In loving your work, deeper understanding is the essence, while passion doesn’t require it.
Okay, you may need a cold shower for this.
Work will feel passionate some days, but most days you will feel that you give more than you get. Remember that another word for work is making a living. To make love, work, or pretty much anything else come alive, it takes a truckload of work.
Don’t listen to me, just ask an entrepreneur if this holds water.
Go ahead, love your work. But does it love you back?
The guiding question we need to ask is: “How does your work love you back?”
The very fact that work is hard means that it is loving you back. No, I’m not writing this for your boss… but you should give this to them. They need all the help they can get.
If work is boring, sweaty and a grind, don’t sweat it… Work is like that. It’s supposed to be hard. What you need to ask, does it pass what I call the As Good As It Gets test: Does your work make you a better man, a better woman, a more well rounded human being?
Happy feelings come and go, but work that is worth it makes you a better human being. If your work feels soul-sucking and meaningless, then that is probably enough of a sign that you need to get out.
Work should get under your skin, because that means it is loving you back.
Don’t chase passion. Chase work that needs YOU.
Your work will love you in unexpected ways, but don’t expect your job to kiss you.
If you put passion first, you erect a giant wall. See where everyone else is going and go the other way. Mike Rowe
Mike Rowe reminds us that whether we work for ourselves, work for someone else, it takes love, not passion to be successful.
Don’t chase a dream or a passion. Instead, find an opportunity and figure out how to love it. If you can figure out how to love your work, then you have it made.
Rowe gives a few practical ideas, ideas I wished I had heard about 25 years ago:
- Don’t put passion first. Put opportunity first.
- See where everybody else is going, and go the other way.
- Find needs and meet them.
- Become really good at meeting the needs.
- Then figure out how to love what you do.
Remember that passion is something YOU bring with you.
First you love your life and then it loves you back. And just like in a relationship, love means work (the messy, dirty stuff). You bring passion to life, it is not something that life (or a job, or an entrepreneurial venture, or a relationship) gives to you. If your job lacks passion, it may just be that your life lacks passion.
Just like with any relationship, if you feel ho hum about your job, you can change that. Expecting passion from something without putting work into it will lead to chasing your feelings. It’s your job in life to bring the passion with you, not to get passion from what you do.
Remember that a job is not a four letter word. Work your job and bring your passion. YOU make the difference.