Follow your passion...and why that may be wrong

Following your passion in business may not be the best advice

Tim Greig

8/6/20232 min read

Following your passion in business
Following your passion in business

“ꜰᴏʟʟᴏᴡ ʏᴏᴜʀ ᴘᴀꜱꜱɪᴏɴ!”

“Focus on the one thing you are good at, and success will follow”

Possibly the worst advice ever…

Consider this:

What if you have multiple gifts?

What if, the best life, your “life” - think about that - is best spent unwrapping your gifts, so that you can become the best version of yourself.

Or at least, pursue the “best’ version of yourself (because, by definition, you can never arrive at the best version of you)

What if, your life is best spent pursuing “you”, and not some sanitised, cultural modelled and socially media neutered cut-out version of what everyone else thinks you should be?

What then?

Some of the most influential and important people in history have pursued a broad range of interests other than their “passion”: or perhaps a better way to explain it is that they had passions, plural.

Frederick Nietzsche
A man should be remembered as the man with the most impressive moustache ever but instead, was a philosopher who laid the grounds for existentialism (emphasising the existence of the individual person as a free and responsible agent) and generally spent a lot of time on his own thinking about well, existence, heavily influencing generations who followed him.
Did Nietzsche focus to the exclusion of all else on the one thing?
Not at all.
Nietzsche was an extremely competent composer and musician and…and artist.

Carl Jung, the founder of analytical psychology and a massive influencer in archaeology, anthropology, philosophy, and psychiatry…to name a few fields was also an artist, craftsman, builder and a prolific writer.

Who can forget Leonardo Da Vinci?

Leonardo was a painter, draughtsman, engineer, scientist, theorist, sculptor, and architect

None of these people were one-dimensional; none of them did only one thing. All of them had broad interest which contributed greatly to their …contributions and success.

I’m sure there are examples of successful people who single mindedly pursued their passion, their career, their businesses but, I’m guessing it was at the cost of all else, the least of which is that of leaving their gifts unwrapped lost in the modern and somewhat warped idea of being a “success”.

Don’t win the battle but lose the war.