27 September 2023

The fashion passion: How following a passion get us nowhere

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There are many social media ‘influencers’ urging career seekers to follow their passion, but Matt McGregor says in most cases this can be terrible advice.

The scenery is breathtaking — sunshine sparkling over crystal clear turquoise water, lapping gently upon pure white sand.

In the background there are majestic mountains.

Zooming in, we see the most beautiful girl walking deftly along the beach wearing a designer bikini draped with a brightly coloured sarong.

Sipping gently on a dark green smoothie, she whispers the words…

“Follow your passion.”

Many a social media influencer will caption similar inspirational words such as: Find your passion, follow your dreams or listen to your heart.

On the surface, this seems like excellent advice; however if we dig a little deeper, you will find it has no basis in reality when it comes to achieving the lifestyle you desire.

Here are three reasons why.

People have no idea what their passion is:

Sure, there are a few born with an innate sense of purpose.

They immediately gravitate to a single pursuit in which they have natural abilities, and they live in a nurturing environment which allows their talent to flourish.

For the rest of us, finding a passion is a matter of trial and error.

We practice, play, fail, win, lose, struggle, succeed; never really knowing if we’re good at something until we try it.

It may take years to find your passion and, in many cases, even as adults we still don’t know what our ‘calling’ is.

In that case, do we give up? Is building an enjoyable lifestyle only for the gifted few?

Passion doesn’t guarantee talent:

Let’s be honest with ourselves, you can’t succeed at your passion if you’re not good at it.

There are many times in our lives when we find an activity we are enthusiastic about, we put in the hours, we read the books and watch the videos.

We learn and practise as much as we can.

Only to find when it comes to the crunch, we don’t have what it takes to compete on a higher level.

That’s ok. It’s life.

This is how we learn and grow, and we are always better people for the experience.

We can keep it as a hobby or move on to something new which sparks our enthusiasm once more.

Just because we are passionate about something doesn’t mean we will be able to succeed doing it.

In many cases, this will lead to false hope, frustration and failure.

All because we persistently believed the affirmation: ‘Follow your passion’.

In this case, do we give up? Is success not for us if we don’t possess the talent?

Passion doesn’t pay the bills:

‘Follow your passion’ could be the most expensive advice you ever listened to in your life.

Your boss will not sign off on your promotion based on passion alone.

The bank manager will not approve your home loan because you’re passionate about owning a house.

The venture capitalist will not fund your idea because you speak passionately about being an entrepreneur.

Passion is not a tangible currency. You can’t survive on passion alone.

How many people followed their passion only to find it left them broke and in despair?

A lot more than you’ll ever hear about on social media.

So, what you’re saying is we give up? We will never be able to follow our hearts and do what we love?

Is it only those that are gifted, have talent and love what they do, that will be able to escape from working jobs they hate?

Absolutely not.

You will be able to follow your passion, but first you must succeed at what you’re good at doing.

You must focus all your efforts towards being the very best at what you do.

You must develop a high-income skill (even if you’re not passionate about it) that takes care of your bills first.

This allows you to invest in assets and build wealth, to then explore and develop yourself in other ways…

This is what they’re not telling you.

Success is 99 per cent hard work and grind and doing the things other people are not willing to do in order to succeed.

Then repeating over and over again during a sustained period — years… decades even.

Most people don’t have the stomach for it, and the social media influencers know it.

These mantras give you an immediate boost of positivity which is great, and it’s an easy ‘like’ and ‘share’ for them.

They know full well, life doesn’t work that way.

Find your strengths first then multiply them. Double down on what you’re good at.

Then as you begin to succeed in your profession, you can start to allocate more time and resources towards following your passion.

Those things you love to do will always be there for you to enjoy but don’t let them hold you back.

Set yourself free and then you will have the time and money to ‘follow your passion’ whatever that may be.

*Matt McGregor is a copywriting for business coaches and sales training businesses. Melbourne-based, he can be contacted at [email protected].

This article first appeared on Matt’s blogsite.

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