‘The Dirty Truth’: Don’t Follow Your Passion

My husband stopped my writing last weekend to read an article from Mike Rowe’s The Dirty Truth (the Dirty Jobs guy).

You can read the full article here, but the key point can be summed up with this:

“Like all bad advice, ‘Follow Your Passion’ is routinely dispensed as though its wisdom were both incontrovertible and equally applicable to all. It’s not.”

What does someone trying to chase a passion do with something like that? It’s all about keeping one foot on the ground while the other chases those dreams in the clouds.

Maintain a solid foundation.

If you’re only going to be happy making a living off your passion, you may want to reconsider your situation. The stereotype of the starving artist whose desperation drives their creative vision is outdated. Instead, find a way to support yourself so that you are comfortable and can sustain a happy, balanced life while you shoot for the stars.

Seek opportunities to develop.

Find a community in your area that lets you interact with others who share your passion. Take classes. Stay connected. This keeps you in touch with the industry and gives you a network of support and the outside perspective critical for growth.

Let passion spill into the rest of your life.

Just because there is a creative passion project you’re chasing, that’s no reason not to live the rest of your life passionately too. I think a lot of creative do this naturally, but it can be just as easy to see a day job as nothing but, and think you need to keep all your passion locked up for that one thing. Not so—passion breeds more passion. Share it, and it comes back to you.

In conclusion, well, I think Rowe said it best:

“Passion is too fickle to be guided by, but too important to live without – don’t let it lead you, but always take it with you.”


How does your passion fit into your life?



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