Why You Should Follow Your Passion (Even if It’s Not Your Day Job)

You may often hear passion described as the “little voice” that calls you to bring forth into the world your innate talents and gifts.  That may be, but do not let this choice of words fool you.  The voice calling you to pursue your passion may sound “little” but the true realization of the power of passion is like discovering that you have wings the expanse of the universe. 

Even the slightest movement of these wings creates tremendous force. 

Passion lifts you up in ways people rarely speak about strongly enough.  The clichés are abundant:  “Do what you love, the money will follow.” And, “If you do what you love, you will never work a day in your life.”

What about, “Do what you love – even if the money never follows.”

Or “Do what you love – that IS the work of your life.”

The reason that little voice calls to you is because exploring your passion is quite possibly the greatest work you will ever do for your own personal growth and well-being.  What you do to get money to survive is a job.  This may or may not have anything to do with what you are passionate about.

You might always need a job.  Your passion may never pay the bills.  Don’t use that as an excuse not to explore it.

Things that can be taken from you – material things, fame, fortune, cars, a title, a corner office – are illusions of power.  They may come as byproducts of devoting yourself to a creative life but they are not indicators of the worth of it.  Following your creative passion is something you do for the sake of feeling fulfilled.  Exploring your passion is important whether or not it ever reaps so much as one dollar.

Here are ten reasons why it is absolutely worth the effort to develop your passion even if it never pays the bills.

1.  Developing your innate talent is liberating in a way nothing else is because it comes from inside you, from a place no one else can ever take from you.

2.  It’s empowering to know you have more to offer the world beyond your day job.  It reminds you who is really in charge of your life.  That would be you, of course.

3.  You have the privilege of choosing to do what you love before you die.  Some people spend their whole lives waiting for permission to honor and enjoy their gifts.  If you have the health and peace of mind to do what you love – do it.   Be humble and grateful for it.

4.  Your unique passion gives you something to talk about that lights you up.  People will pick up on your genuine positive energy.  It sounds like truth and looks like confidence.

5. It will take you to surprising places within yourself.  Passion has the power take you to a place where you find inner peace, joy, enlightenment, and the brilliant flow of the present moment.

6.  Exploring your passion apart from your 9 to 5 job is not a failure to live your best life.  Quite honestly, it’s easier to follow the flow of your passion if you are not worried about how you will pay for your next meal.

7.  Surrendering to your inner voice and letting passion lead the way will bring experiences into your life that you could never have predicted. The universe doesn’t care if you develop your talent before you go to your job in the morning or in the middle of the night, it only cares that you do it.  Take a step in the direction of your authentic passion and the universe will make giant leaps to up your happiness.

8.  Letting go of the excuses feels good. It’s not that you cannot pursue your soul’s desire because your boss doesn’t recognize your potential, or your dad thinks you should have been a doctor, or your husband is a jerk.  It’s not up to them.  Do the thing you yearn to do and stop blaming everybody else for your frustrations.  It is awesome to take your authentic power back.

9.  You will learn that recognition is not the goal. It’s inconsequential to doing what you love.  What you love to do is who you are at your core.   Don’t get hung up on praise or criticism and never apologize for being who you are.

10.  If none of the above reasons convince you to explore your passion even if it’s not your 9 to 5 gig – beware.  The cost of not exploring your passion is higher than you might think.  Trying to keep that gnawing voice quiet inside of you can cause you to engage in some dangerous behavior.  You may find that you try to numb your inner voice with too many chocolate chip muffins, too much sex, excessive drinking or other erratic or extreme lifestyle choices.  You may attempt to suffocate it with long hours at the office in pursuit of a promotion you aren’t even sure you want.

Instead of following your passion, you could spend years acquiring and achieving things that will never feed your soul or bring you fulfillment.  So take whatever time you have to explore that “little” voice inside that’s whispering for you to pick up a paintbrush, a microphone, a feather pen.

Go ahead, give your passion the chance to come out and play after hours.  What’s the worst that could happen . . . you’ll learn to soar . . . off the clock?



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Comments 1

  1. Terrific Tom

    Thanks for such a full article. Each of the points you made was relevant to pursuing your passion without regards to its economic viability. We 21st century Americans are better equipped to physically survive than any generation previous yet we seem incapable of feeding ourselves mentally or spiritually, which is done through giving expression to your gifts, talents and passions.

    Excellent post.

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