Why Doing What You Love Is a Bad Advice
“Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life” – is this bad advice? ‘Do what you love’ is one bad advice given by many luminaries and other people as well as follow your passion and be fulfilled or life is about doing what you love.
As far as I could tell, it seemed like an obvious formula for creating a great, profitable life.
I used to be one of those annoying guys who urged people to find their passion and encouraged them to turn it into it their job.
Unfortunately, I was completely wrong. Doing what you love is a bad advice IMO.
ImportantI was falling victim to cliché and generally bad career advice. More than that, I was missing a big blind spot in my own life: I already turned two of my passions into jobs and grew to hate them.
Monetizing your passion is also a pretty bad move.
WarningNot only is it overly quixotic, it eventually runs the risk of ruining the exact things that bring you joy.
It is 100% fine to take a job that you like but don’t love and then use your free time to pursue your passions and hobbies.
You need to have goals and dreams, because otherwise what’s the point? But the notion that finding a job that pays you to do one of your favourite things is not actually a job? Rubbish.
You’ve been told that, if you find your bliss, world-changing success will magically come.
You’ve been told that, if you’re not changing the world in dramatic ways, it’s because you’re too afraid to find your passion and follow it.
There are five reasons to end your personal guilt trip.
‘Doing what you love’ has some consequences and hence requires a careful journey. Let’s address a few aspects related to why doing what you love is a bad advice.
Mastery Is The Way
Most highly skilled people were exposed to something in a way that made it interesting. Something initially inspired them. They started learning and then benefited from a feedback effect.
The problem is that we conflate cause and effect.
WarningWe believe that mastery springs from discovered passions. The truth is that we grow passionate in the process of achieving mastery.
Passions aren’t found — they’re developed!
ImportantYou won’t just stumble into your dream career, nor wake up one day with the sure knowledge of your occupational destiny. But with effort and incremental progress, you will develop mastery in your field and in turn, grow your passion.
Cal Newport has emerged as one of the more vocal critics of the do-what-you-love movement.
In his book, So Good They Can’t Ignore You, Cal argues that following one’s passions can be a dead end and that it’s better to identify which skills you have that could be rare and valuable in the workplace – and then to hone those skills till you have career capital that you can spend in the way you choose.
Career capital is the accumulation of rare and valuable skills that you acquire over a lifetime of dedication to a craft.
Only when you’ve acquired enough career capital can you trade it in for that rare and valuable dream job in return. This can take years, if not decades, to realize.
But it’s the price of admission for something that so many people want yet so many aren’t willing or able to obtain.
The necessary ingredients for honing a world-class skill set that can be parlayed into a fulfilling and passionate career at the top of one’s field are universal and span the generations throughout human history.
Deliberate practice + persistence + time = Success + passion.
ImportantPassion only comes after the addition of deliberate practice, persistence, and time. Passion for a particular area isn’t something you naturally have, it’s something that comes as a byproduct of mastery over that area and a well-defined personal mission that develops over time.
Money Might Not Follow
It is a fact that there is surely no guarantee when you do something you love. You may reap money or may not. It is to be understood by all individuals that the world is different and it is unknown to any of your passions.
Doing something you love must aspects that required by the people and would help you gain money.
WarningIf this aspect is not understood then the individual would surely lose or stand out as unemployed.
Want to love what you do? Pick something interesting.
ImportantPick something financially viable — something people will pay you to do or provide. And as you build your company, stay focused on creating a business that will eventually provide you with a sense of respect, autonomy, and impact.
Don’t focus on the value your work offers you. Focus on the value you produce through your work.
That is: how your actions are important, how you’re good at what you do, and how you’re connected to other people.
When you do, the passion will follow — and if you work hard enough, someday you’ll be so good they can’t ignore you.
By forgetting about passion and focusing on building skills that improve your options in the near future, you actually give yourself a better chance of making your passion project an eventual success.
Passion projects often take years to pay off financially, if ever.
Some people glorify the struggle of living hand-to-mouth while chasing an elusive dream, like becoming a famous rock star or writer.
Forget being a starving artist.
ImportantPut the dream on hold and learn some skills you can use to generate a reliable income within a few months. That means becoming good at something the world values and is happy to pay you for.
Why Doing What You Love Is a Bad Advice
It’s easy to confuse a hobby or interest for a profound passion that will result in career and business fulfillment. The reality is, that type of preexisting passion is rarely valuable.
The key as an entrepreneur is to identify a relevant passion.
WarningMost of us have no idea what we’re passionate about, or what kind of job we could possibly love so much that it never feels like work.
You can’t just cruise along and have everything fall into place.
ImportantThe danger is that we’ll invest tons of time and energy into finding our passion, trying all sorts of different things in expectation of a sudden eureka moment.
Even if you do figure it out, doing work you’re passionate about isn’t any kind of cakewalk.
If anything, working on something you’re passionate about is harder than working a regular job you have little interest in.
When it comes to finding your passion for the rest of your life, it is a confusing path. Every day is the same struggle.
WarningFor a person who is trying to find their passion in the crazy maze we call life, it can make them feel anxious, confused, and somewhat depressed.
This is because they have many dreams in their heads that they want to achieve.
And what happens is that these dreamers fall short on turning those dreams into a tangible reality. That is why some of them become restless and unsatisfied with their life.
Love What You Do
If you don’t want to follow the advice, “do what you love”, then what’s the alternative? The opposite, I suppose, is “love what you do”.
Part of this is simply an attitude, rather than the nature of the work itself.
You may have heard that classic tale of the bricklayers: both are doing the same exact work, laying brick after brick, but one will describe his job as “I’m laying bricks,” while the other sees the bigger purpose: “I’m building a cathedral.”
You can do your best work if you’re enjoying it; but it’s also doing something that’s aligned to your values and your skills.
In his book Born for This, Chris Guillebeau talks about the Joy-Money-Flow model: “winning the career lottery”, he says, happens at the intersection between work that you like to do, work that supports and sustains you financially, and work that you’re really good at.
When we’re told to do what we love, we immediately narrow our vision of what a career can be – and therefore, limit our ability to be satisfied by our careers.
ImportantWe get the idea that unless we’re doing the job that we “love,” we’re not doing a good job, or the right job, or the best job when in reality there are plenty of amazing careers to be had in fields we’re probably not all too aware of.
Sometimes the best jobs are ones that you least expect.
WarningIf you are currently striving to find a job that encompasses your hobbies and passions, you may be left feeling dissatisfied with what you already have – the grass isn’t always greener.
The reason that most people want to wed their passion to their profession is because it seems like an easy path to happiness and the good life.
ImportantUnfortunately, it’s not that simple. The real trick is to find a job that enables space and energy for you to do the things that produce happiness within your life.
Stop focusing on loving what you do, and start focusing on finding a job that fills a tangible need.
When your most prominent career advice is “do what you love,” there’s a big chance you’re missing out on some of the wisest potential career decisions available to you.
Your love for what you do will come with the satisfaction of a job well done.
Whether it’s finding a field you haven’t yet discovered, or learning the value of job that can simply pay your bills – don’t put so much pressure on yourself to find that “perfect job.”
Why Doing What You Love Is a Bad Advice
At first glance, getting paid for what you’re passionate about is appealing. When you dig a little deeper, you start to realize that being forced to engage with something makes it much harder to love.
Turning what you love into your job makes you beholden to it.
ImportantUnless you’re independently wealthy, you’re beholden to having some sort of a job for most of your life. We do not have the luxury of choosing to skip work just because we don’t feel like going.
Your job inevitably gets infused with stress, deadlines, anxiety, and annoyance.
For many, getting paid to do what you love is a great way to lose interest in the exact thing that used to light you up.
There are jobs that you love, but it is up to you to decide where one’s passion may fall.
Rod Serling was one who loves writing Twilight Zone. At that time, his passion for work became a chore, burden, and an obligation. Whatever he loved doing became a nightmare where money became the main motto.
Following the advice of doing what you love feels great at first, but it can be short-lived.
WarningIt is because every job out there is going to have something that you are not going to enjoy. There is going to be something you have to do that makes it feel like busy work rather than something you are passionate about.
It becomes a chore and, in turn, you could lose the passion that is driving you forward to that path.
Following and working at what you love may not have a social impact.
ImportantDoing something you love does not guarantee and make a difference. For example, if an individual has a passion for cracking cocaine then, it would never be perfect.
The successful people who urge you to “follow your heart” tend to be short sighted.
WarningIt’s popular for celebrities, athletes, executives and the like to report that they succeeded because they followed their hearts. This narrative is so common that it seems almost insane to argue against it.
Leave for another day many other good reasons to not do what you love — including the realities of providing for a family, getting healthcare, or saving for old age.
Stressing and straining to discern some enchanted pathway of bliss is a futile exercise for most of us.
ImportantIf you haven’t yet found that one overriding passion, you have permission to call off the search.
The key is not in achieving fame and fortune, and being deliriously happy every day.
It’s about finding peace with yourself. Remove the distractions, learn to be mindful, love the life that you have before it’s over.
Passion is something that comes in the work that we do.
It is something that follows us rather than something we ought to pursue. Instead of taking that advice, spend time looking at yourself and begin to ask questions.
Doing what you love seems good at first.
WarningIt makes us feel good because it leads us to believe that we are always in control of our lives. However, the harsh reality of life makes this advice impractical.
It is the best scenario for us if we can do what we love for a living, but it is also fine if not.
Do you think that “do what you love” is bad advice? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment below and share your thoughts!
Digital Dandy. Hacker From Heart. Workaholic. Coding Artist. Self-made.