Follow Your Curiosity, Not Your Passion

June 13, 2017
By Zack Poelwijk
Follow Your Curiosity, Not Your Passion

The standard advice on living a happy and fulfilled life is to “follow your passion.”

That’s great. The problem is, what if “your passion” is all you can do?

Following your passion means that you’re focusing–obsessing, more likely–on the ONE thing that you have decided is your primary interest. I argue that this boxes you in. Passion alone is never enough. And, most people aren’t lucky enough to a) have a pre-existing passion, and b) have a job that matches that passion. By focusing only on your passion, you’re less likely to pay attention to the other ingredients needed for success: fair pay for your work, human relationships, changes in technology that affect your demographic, changes in the marketplace.

And, you’re denying yourself the ability to change. As humans who encounter new things everyday, our natural state is change. We grow mentally and spiritually as time goes on. Our interests, and yes, our passions, change.

Follow your curiosity, not your passion.

This path still allows plenty of room for your passion. Curiosities can lead to your passion. Curiosities can help you develop skills to be more resilient in times of adversity. Curiosities keep us moving forward. Keep us learning. Keep us trying.

To me, feeling curious is a slight ache. It’s knowing that I’ll never be able to read all the books that I want to, travel everywhere I want to go, or cook all the recipes I want to learn how to make. But it’s also a buoyant feeling. It’s knowing how much more is out there to discover. Curiosity is what keeps my passions alive.

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