Do A Job That Gives You Passion (Even in a Jobless World)

Passion gets a bad rap, especially when the economy is shaky and job prospects are tough. Many people think that pursuing their passion is mere dreaming – even idealistic and perhaps a selfish act. On the flip side, some people might argue that passion is exactly what is needed during these difficult economic times where the job market is so volatile.

Did you know that passion originally meant suffering? When you have passion for something, it is a part of you, something that inspires and drives you to act with intense desire. However, sometimes people will caution you to repress your passion as they may think that going after your dreams is silly. They see it as a romantic notion that lacks seriousness and level-headedness – even if passion is the fire that inspires you towards a specific purpose or pursuit, it is your ultimate pursuit of happiness.

High School graduates headed out into the world at the beginning of 2011. Some of them headed back into the households they were raised in because there were no jobs. One could forgive them for feeling a bit confused. On the one hand, these graduates have been taught commencement and motivational lessons. They believe that the world is theirs to make and shape, that they should follow their dreams and passions and that they are the future. On the other hand, they’ve also been told that the job market is dismal, that they should be serious about picking a place to live and an industry where they can find a job, and that they shouldn’t set their expectations too high.

Here are a few things that you can be noted about passion:

  1. Passion is not the same thing as drive, ambition, greed, lust, or pursuit of hedonistic pleasure: While all of those things are powerful motivators, they operate differently than passion. Ambition, lust, greed, and pleasure are focused on getting external recognition or reward or satisfying one’s own fleeting, narcissistic desires. Passion is a far more serious and far deeper motivator that compels one forward through hard work, sacrifice, and sometimes superhuman effort to accomplish a goal one views as important – not because of any external status or reward, but because it matters to the person pursuing it.
  2. Passion is not incompatible with commitment and community: People pursuing passionate endeavours often speak of how “fulfilling” they find their work. But fulfillment isn’t necessarily selfish. Fulfillment comes from a sense that what one does has a purpose, or generates a sense of meaning in one’s life. And purpose and meaning rarely come from a life spent pursuing external rewards of money, status, power, or even hedonistic pleasure. It comes from building something of value, or having impact, or finding richness and art along a life path that has depth and significance.
  3. In other words, passion is not a luxury that needs to be jettisoned in tough economic times: It is the most essential force a person can bring to a challenging job market … not only because we tend to do our best when we’re passionate about what we’re doing, but also because passion is what inspires a person to keep pushing to find a way forward, no matter how tough the circumstances.
  4. Passion is rarely found in a vacuum: Few people have a fire lit within themselves by sitting alone, staring at their navels. Passion comes most often from exploring and engaging with the world and imagining things that don’t yet exist, but that inspire you to wonder. As Robert Kennedy once said … why not? And beyond that, finding one of those possibilities that lights such as a fire inside of you that you will persevere through the challenges, effort, and dark nights to try to make it real.

So go out and find your passion and live it… we dare you! Feel free to comment on this post. We would like to hear what your life passions are.

Inspiration for this blog post was found on

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