5 Myths About Passion (And What to Do Instead)
Discovering your passion is a magical experience.
You go about your daily life, and then, BOOM, you’ll find it — your passion. There it is, right in front of you, staring deeply into your eyes.
From that moment on, everything changes.
You’ll have tons of energy, people will cheer you on, you’ll end up rich.
Did that already happen to you?
Well, neither to me.
Truth be told, my whole idea about finding and following my passion was completely wrong — and to a certain degree even dangerous.
To spare you a similar experience, I’ve summarized the 5 most dangerous myths about passion.
1. Your Passion Is Waiting For You
Following passion can be the ultimate excuse for not taking action. My brain tricked me with the following logic…
Brain: “Did you find your passion?”
Me: “Not yet.”
Brain: “Oh, then let’s relax and wait until passion knocks on our door.“
Me: “Ok, sounds like a plan.”
I lied to myself that it’s totally fine to live a passive life. Consequently, I missed amazing opportunities in front of my eyes.
I neglected an uncomfortable truth: Passion doesn’t live outside of yourself — it’s not a thing, not a person, not a place.
On the contrary, passion is an intense battle of self-discovery. It involves a life-long journey into yourself, into your fears and feelings. But rest assured, this is actually great news. It means you’re in control of your destiny. It means you can be passionate about your daily life — and you can start today.
2. Your Passion Is Carved In Stone
What do Mozart, Bill Gates, and Tiger Woods have in common?
All of them found their passion at a very young age.
Unfortunately, 99,9% of us aren’t built that way. Most of us don’t have God-given talent burnt into our DNA — at least it’s not clearly visible.
No, our lives are messy. We are pretty good at several things, but not exceptionally great, and certainly not world-class level.
But even if you had a unique superpower, having “one single passion” is dangerous these days:
- Business trends come and go quickly.
- Life is long and unpredictable.
- Artificial intelligence can replace your “passion” any day.
Let’s say your passion is writing on typewriters. Well, you would have lost your job 30 years ago.
Flexibility is a must-have today. Therefore, it’s totally fine to switch from IT to sales to holding self-help workshops— as long as you do it in a smart way.
Personally, I loved maths in primary school. Then I was obsessed with basketball in high school. At university, I was into software engineering. And now I’m in love with psychology and entrepreneurship.
3. Just Follow Your Passion
“Just follow your passion” sounds good, but how does the actual process look like?
Do I avoid all duties and chores in my life until I finally discover my true calling?
Of course not. With or without passion, your everyday life requires discipline, strategy, and constant self-reflection.
Here’s one strategy you can steal from me:
- Develop at least 2 skills (i.e. writing, marketing, counseling, painting, fixing cars, …).
- Get solid job experience.
- Work actively on your patience, discipline, and resilience.
- Learn about yourself. Understand your dreams, goals, and strengths.
- Invest your money. Create a financial safety net.
- Talk to new people and research new ideas.
- Pursue small passion projects and share them with the world.
Keep doing this for several years — and everything will fall into place.
By applying this strategy, you will develop passion for your 9–5 life. And that’s exactly where the power lies. You’ll become content with your current situation, but at the same time, you’re working towards a more exciting future.
It’s perfectly fine to have a boring job as a software engineer, and create smooth Hip Hop beats after work.
You could also be a day-time accountant, and draw marvelous paintings on weekends and sell them on Etsy.
4. Passion Will Make You Rich
Going all-in on your passion probably won’t make you rich.
In the long-term, only 2 (ethical) strategies are proven to make you good money:
- Doing something most other people can’t or don’t want to do (i.e. maintaining software, sweeping fireplaces, cold-calling 200 clients a day)
- Creating a service or product that a group of people desperately needs or desires.
At first sight, these two strategies aren’t linked to passion.
But it’s all about perspective:
Passion is about yourself. It’s a self-centered worldview. You just want to feel good about yourself.
Making money, however, shifts all focus to other people. When you solve other people’s problems, they give you money.
So, to summarize, passion alone doesn’t make you rich.
Temperate passion, however, combined with a solid skill-set, creativity, discipline, and a good strategy has a good chance to succeed.
5. Following Your Passion Makes You Happy
In the German language, passion is described by the word “Leidenschaft”, which basically means “creates pain”.
Germans aren’t known to be overly optimistic, but this word makes perfect sense.
Opening your heart and truly following your passion is a painful process — that’s why most people are too afraid to do it. It leaves you vulnerable and weak.
Think of the famous painter Vincent van Gogh. He paved the way for modern art and is one of the most important painters of all time. At the same time, he was a social outcast, schizophrenic, and never sold a painting during his lifetime.
It may be an extreme example, but was his passion worth it?
So, keep in mind that people might make fun of your passion. You’ll burn out a lot. Rejection will be your best friend. Nobody will understand you.
Are you ready for this?
Don’t get me wrong, passion clearly exists. I firmly believe that people can improve their lives dramatically once they learn how to follow their inner compass.
But it’s not as black or white as you’ve been told.
To make this statement clear, let’s forget the word passion for a minute. Instead, ask yourself this:
- What would you do for free?
- What makes you feel alive?
- How can you help other people?
- What kind of activities gives you energy?
- What are you talking about all day long?
The better you can answer these kinds of questions, the easier it will be to discover your passion.
I’m currently creating a free email course that teaches you how to develop and monetize your passion in the smartest way possible. Join the waiting list.