"Pursue your passion" is unhelpful advice for a handful of reasons, but mostly because it suggests we should stick to a single path we already feel strongly about. As personal finance expert Stefanie O'Connell explains, passion isn't something you have, it's something you discover. Photo by Oana Maxim.
You only discover your passion when you take action — how do you know whether or not you love something if you've never experienced it? As O'Connell, who is also an actress, explains:
Passion is the result, not the cause of taking action. I didn't dream up the idea of becoming an actress out of nowhere — I was in a play and I liked it, so I sought out more performing opportunities. In other words, I discovered my passion through doing, not thinking.
The prevailing myth of passion suggests that it arrives in some magical burst of inspiration, but in reality, passion is uncovered through action, exploration, and work.
We've touched on this idea before, but I think it's an important distinction when it comes to the "pursue your passion" advice. If we can reframe the way we think about it, passion is no longer something we work toward — it's something we actively discover. And that's a lot more exciting, realistic and tangible.
See what else O'Connell says on the matter at the link below.
30 Lessons Learned By 30 [Stefanie O'Connell]