By Anubhav Srivastava ( Register for his Workshop – Build Super Confidence For Super Success!)
Wondering how to follow your passion and succeed? This article is about how you can follow your passion in a smart way that leads to sustained success and a good living.
Steve Jobs famously mentioned that one’s life is limited so they should dedicate it to following their passion. However Steve Jobs first passion was not making computers, it was spirituality and he even came to India and sat in a temple for a long time. Only when he realized the spiritual way was not sustainable for him for the entire length of his life, did he pursue his second passion.
Besides, not everyone is Steve Jobs, no matter what you do or how much you love your work, not everyone who loves computers will go on to make a multi billion dollar company like Apple. To follow your Passion is an extremely hard job for most people, make no mistake about it. There is a practical strategy you should implement if you are serious about doing so. If you follow your passion blindly, with no practical strategy or course correction, it is a sure way to failure. Just ask 90 percent of the people who cannot pay their bills even after years of following their passion.
A Story of How To Follow Your Passion And FAIL!
I came across a story about a lady who was extremely passionate about making comics. She believed that if she really worked hard and followed her passion, and did what she loved the most, soon it would be a story of happily ever after. According to her if anyone did not become successful while pursuing their passion it was only because they were just not working hard.
Well it worked to a certain degree. She was able to win quite a lot of awards, had some fans and was even asked to run a web comic for which she was paid. But what she was paid hardly paid her bills. She worked for 60 hours a week and made in one week what others in jobs could make in two days. Also she had a lot of frustration with things not working out in terms of other deals. And then it all ended.
She needed surgery, she didn’t have health insurance and she had no money to pay for the hospital bills because she made so little.
Her series was unable to sustain itself. Even though her friends and fans tried to raise some money for her surgery, it simply was not enough. Finally she decided to quit. She was in utter despair and it took a considerable while for her to recover from this personal and financial setback.
Frustrated, she decided to go into web development. She loved it but it wasn’t her first love. She has now been in web development for over five years and is doing very well for herself. She is invited to speak at conferences all over the world. She has started a new web development company that is doing very well. Even if there are any emergencies she has no trouble because the opportunities in web development are far more. She makes more in two days than she did after working for 7 days in the field of comics.
Among the things she loved she identified what loved her back. But, if she decided to doggedly follow her passion in an industry that did not love her or did not reward her back, it would all be pointless and she would end up sick and penniless.
What is the lesson we can learn from this story? The lesson is that it is wise to do what you love only if it loves you back. Follow your passion only if it rewards you in return.
We have been made to believe that there is glory in suffering when you follow your passion. Suffering for a certain time when the reward or the result will make up for it is certainly worth it, but there is no glory in mindless suffering for years when there is not even a light at the end of the tunnel. So do what you love but ensure that it loves you back and if it doesn’t it is ok to love something else. When you follow your passion and it does not reward you despite your best efforts, it is okay to pursue another passion.
Let me give you an example. Suppose you love a person deeply and have done everything in your capacity to win their affection or try to keep them happy, but they just seem to never love you back, in fact they treat you harshly or cruelly, is it wise to keep loving that person for the rest of your life? You may love that person but is that love making you happy? No in fact it is making you cry. It is better to realize that despite your best efforts, maybe that love is not worth it and it is better to find a partner who loves you the way you love them so that you live a happy life. The same is true for your career.
Practical Steps on How to Follow Your Passion and Succeed.
The hardest question for most people is to figure out what they want. Most of us go through our entire lives without knowing our true purpose in life. So how does one figure it out? Truthfully, only you can find out the answer to that question. However, the following three strategies are invaluable.
So if you want to follow your passion, first make a list all the things that you love doing. Thing you can keep doing on and on without ever getting bored. Next, from this list pick those things that you are actually good at. If you love playing golf but arent’ very good at it, you certainly won’t be very successful at it. Therefore, find the things that you love doing and from that list, figure out the ones that are your core strengths. Things that you are really good at. Thirdly, figure out how to provide value to people around you by doing what you are good at and love to do.
People don’t care about what you do, they care about what you can do FOR THEM, in one way or the other. It is important that they value you enough to pay you well for it. Mere appreciation or claps is not enough for something to be a career. So do what you love, do what you are good at, provide value to people and make sure the industry you are in appreciates you enough to pay you well or has great paying prospects OVER TIME.
Is there an Exception to this? Should you continue to follow your passion even if it does not seem to offer any tangible rewards? Yes, only if you are absolutely certain you cannot live without it. If it is something without which you will live a life of regret and incompleteness, you should continue to follow it. If it is something that you are prepared to struggle for your entire life, understand that the big pay off may never happen, but are still fiercely dedicated to take the risk, then keep doing what you do. If the pain of quitting is greater than the pain of unrewarded hard work, then keep pushing on.
Without Passion, life has no meaning. You will be a living robot going through a terminal disease called an aimless life. When you follow your passion you will not get an easy life but you will get a life worth living.
When you Follow Your Passion it has to be done smartly. You cannot do so in a misinformed way or you are heading for a life of heartbreak and despair.
Identify a list of things that you love doing. From that list, pick what you are actually good at or are your real strength. Figure out a way to provide value to people while doing that particular thing.
Ensure that the industry or area you are in pays you enough to have a decent living doing what you love over time. If not, then change tracks. You can grow to hate what you once love if it does not love you back.
The only exception to this is if you have fallen so much in love with a career, that you cannot live without it. Do this only if you fully understand the risk and the consequences but are still willing to embrace it.
About the Author
Anubhav Srivastava is an author, motivational speaker and the director of Carve Your Destiny, a first of its kind inspirational documentary featuring some of the most famous personalities from diverse fields, who teach the viewers how they too can make all of their dreams come true. The movie itself has been seen on Youtube by close to 600,000 people. Anubhav has also been featured in numerous International and India Media outlets such as BBC , The Times of India, Hindustan Times, Rediff.com, Leicester Mercury and many others.
Email Anubhav Srivastava at firstname.lastname@example.org . Connect on Facebook at http://facebook.com/anubhav981