What Everybody Ought To Know About Following Their Passion


Why do you do what you do? What’s it for? Is it for the money, security or maybe the passion?

Does being passionate get you to where you want to be and pay the bills? For example, I’m passionate about lots of things, but they would not support me financially.

I loath that overused saying, “do what you are passionate about, and the money will come” Like hell, it will.

Try saying that to your bank manager (who has one of those anymore!) Sorry, I didn’t pay any money into my account to pay my bills because I’m passionate about my job, but I don’t earn any money from it!

"The researchers concluded that popular mantras like “follow your passion” make people think that pursuing a passion will be easy. Believers are then more likely to give up when they face challenges or roadblocks"
Research Stanford University

How often do we find ourselves waiting to get there? That magical place that we wait and wait for – the place where we will finally be rewarded for the something we are doing that we are passionate about.


Take my industry, for instance (can you call life coaching an industry?) According to the ICF (International coaching federation), 82 per cent of life coaches quit because, after following their passion, they can’t make a living out of it. But was it their passion in the first place?



What are you passionate about? Unfortunately, most people don’t know their passion, certainly around work and career. I hear it a lot from my clients “I want to feel passionate about what I do. I want it to have meaning and purpose .”


Many people operate under the belief that all they need to do is find what they are passionate about, and everything will magically fall into place. Wrong for one simple reason: most people don’t know their passion.


Your life

Your life is not a thing. It’s an experience, and the fun comes from enjoying the experience. Did you experience the question growing up: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Train driver, astronaut, footballer were just a few that I may have replied to (forgive me, it was well over fifty years ago since I was asked that!).  


A more sensible reframe of that question should have been? “What do you want to grow into?” How many of us would have taken a different career path? I, for one, would have. How about you?


You will spend the rest of your life with yourself! Investing passion into your-self, your self-improvement, and future development is always a good investment. But as far as your career and earning a living is concerned, that’s a different matter.



If I could instil one thing in you, it would be this; Passion comes after experimenting and trying stuff. Get curious, ask for help, talk to people, engage with them, and try lots of dipping your toe into the water of different things. Then and only then see if it has staying power and turns into a passion!


And be mindful. What was once a passion, that you have now given up your job to pursue full time is now your job that you need to earn a living from, that needs to pay the bills and keep the bank manager happy.


Far too many people give up their day job to pursue their passion, only to find the passion they were passionate about is no longer there.


My advice

In the first instance. It would be best if you didn’t give up your job, the one where you earn money and pay your bills. Instead, once you have tried the stuff and found your passion, my advice would be to dovetail it in with your current job—transition into your newfound love.


I had witnessed it many times with my clients (before they sought my help), steaming full speed ahead with reinventing themselves, trying to find their passion only to find that the destination they arrived at is not what they expected.


So, as a coach, when a client comes to me to help them create and reinvent their future, what I’m helping them create is their-self.  Finding your passion is about finding who you want to be, what you want to do and have in your life.

Interestingly Stanford University did a study titled:

Stanford researchers: ‘Follow your passion’ advice could make you less successful.

“Instead of thinking of your career as an opportunity to follow your passion, the researchers suggest thinking of life as a series of opportunities to develop several passions.”


With any new passion waiting for a destination. I always ask my clients three questions:

  1. Why do you want this? Name it: ………………………………..
  2. What do you want this for? Name it: ………………………………………………………….
  3. Does it fit with what you will and want to do?

If the answer to the last question is a “HELL YES.” Then you are on the right track. But proceed with caution.

What the hell do you want it for?

Many of us have great passionate ideas but can get railroaded into what people tell us to do and steam into something only to find out after the smoke has settled that this does not fit what we will and want to do (been there, got the T-shirt!).

And, I hear this a lot from my clients; “My life hasn’t turned out how I wanted it to; if only I tried a few other things first – I could have lived a very different life.”

We think once we find our passion, we will have finally arrived at where things are new, different, and magically better.

But, in reality, how many of us make our-self depressed and miserable thinking this way? The only truth is, when we live our lives waiting to get somewhere, the only place we get is stuck. Fear of getting stuck doing something you don’t like for a long time can feel like spinning on a hamster wheel—that never-ending cycle of wash, spin, dry and repeat of your life.


Following your passion is all well and good,  But Will it be your “wheel of fortune?”

Asking your-self, “What the hell do I want it for? Will it stop the wheel or am I just replacing it with the spare?” Would be a good place to start.

I now have this mantra written on my whiteboard above my desk told to me by a respected life coach that I admire that I read every morning before starting the work I am passionate about.

What destination is your passion heading for? Why not start your journey to find what you will and want to do. Take my evaluation below.

Like what you read and want to learn more. We should talk. It costs nothing to chat with me, and I’m always happy to answer your questions about coaching. 

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