I Wish Someone Had Told Me… I Don’t Need a Passion

That’s right. You do not need to have a passion. Repeat after me – I don’t need a passion.

How do you feel? Lighter, at ease, maybe even happier. I know I do. Taking the pressure off yourself to find your passion feels incredible!

After graduating college, everyone and their brother asked me, “What are you going to do now?” Since I didn’t have a job lined up, nor had I even had an interview, I felt terrified. Questionnaires would typically follow up with, “Well, what do you want to do?” At this moment I would usually start tearing up and try to change the subject. I didn’t want to hear about their experience or what they thought I should do. Half of the time people would give me “ideas” I had already thought of. It was a pointless anxiety producing discussion.

Life after college is daunting and these questions only make it worse.
Recently I attended this class about the differences in generations.

I’m not sure this was what the presenter was trying to get across but here is what I took away; This whole ‘follow your passion’ concept is mainly a millennial thing.

The ‘Latch Key Kids’ grew up learning that working hard was expected. You accepted what was offered and you kept with job security. However, now millennials have come along and seen how insane that is – so instead many millennials, with the help of the World Wide Web, have quit their dull jobs and have started doing what they love.

Not only are millennials enjoying life (and sharing their highlight reel along the way), they are becoming incredibly successful by going off the beaten path! And what happens with successful people? Everyone wants to know how they did it. Then, to no surprise, they say, “I followed my passion.” And then the concept of “finding” and “following your passion” continues to be a requirement for success.

A day after that class I was listening to a podcast when I heard the interviewee state that, “you don’t need to have a passion.” Immediately, my scattered brain perked up and I was intrigued on how she could dismiss the single most popular piece of advice from people we consider successful. If you have time – watch Terri Trespicio’s TED talk. It’s incredibly fascinating and not too long.

Terri feels that the fad of having to find and pursue ONE passion limits individuals and causes anxiety. I saw this play out in my own life. I had so much anxiety about finding my passion that I had forgotten what I enjoyed. Instead of doing what I loved, I focused all my time on analyzing what my potential passion could be. I read books and watched videos that would help me, supposedly, find my passion.

In this video off of Terri’s YouTube channel – she gives a brief talk on why you do not need a passion. Someone pointed out in the comments section that it can often be hard for people who have multiple interest to find one passion. So does that mean that a person who has many hobbies or who is overly curious won’t be successful?

I don’t believe so. It may not be as easy for people without passions to find their direction in life but at least the overly curious will always be searching and moving forward.

Here’s to hoping that some day, I and maybe yourself – stumble into the direction we are looking for. Until then – realizing I don’t need a passion to be successful makes me feel pretty damn good.