A reader wrote in to say that when it comes to careers,
"So many people seem driven by forces they couldn't stop if they wanted to. I wish I had that."
I wish she had that, too! Because that's where the meaningful work is hanging out, inside that drive. When it clicks, it's like you're magnetically drawn to something and it's drawn to you. You are propelled from within, and good things just start to happen. Without that drive, you have to try to force it, and that's no good.
So it's no surprise you want that kind of drive and go looking for it. The trouble is where most people look. They think they need to have a passion, and so they try to drum up interest in a hobby or subject.
But what if you don't feel strongly about any one interest? Does that mean you're doomed to a lackluster career? According to "follow your passion," yes. You poor sucker; you haven't been touched by the gods of music or writing or football or photography or medicine. Off to rot in a cubicle for you.
That's why I think there's a fundamental flaw to "follow your passion" as a methodology for discovering a meaningful career, and it's that limiting view that has you stuck.
If "follow your passion" works for you, do it. If it hasn't, look at the problems your conditioned way of thinking about careers is causing for you, and come on over to the purpose paradigm. There's a whole 'nother worldview on careers that doesn't rely on prodigal talent or mad love for a certain subject matter.
You can stop looking to your interests, and start figuring out what you stand for.
Instead of following your passion, follow your principles.
- What do I stand for?
- Who or what am I in a unique position to champion?
- What kind of impact of I want to have on others and the world?
Once you start to answer those questions, you WILL come alive and feel driven by forces you can't stop. Because now it's not all about you and what you're going to DO with your life; it's about you in relationship to others and how you're going to USE your life.
What do you think? In the comments, let me know what you stand for. If the ideas are rough around the edges and not fully formed, that's ok. This is how it starts.