Blog | Personal development

Why Passion is Overrated

Guru’s nowadays are telling you can get rich by following your passion. Read on to discover why that’s simply a lie

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“You can be whatever you want.”

Have you been told that before?

If you have, I’m sure the parent, teacher, or coach meant well but, unfortunately, failed to realize they were probably causing more harm than good.

In fact, I would go so far as to say it’s a lie. You may have experienced a lot of unnecessary frustration in your life trying to prove to yourself and others that you can be anything you want.

Passion doesn’t matter

Ask the thousands of contestants who were never crowned American Idol. Every year for fourteen years, thousands upon thousands of contestants would sing (using a very loose definition of that word) their passion on stages across the United States vying to win the top spot on the reality TV show.

No one ever questioned their passion. Every last one of them believed they could sing. That passion was easily seen as they proudly gave their reasons for being there. But it doesn’t take three judges sitting in front of the contestants and millions more listening through their TV sets to know that most of them didn’t have the talent to become a pop singer. The skill set required simply wasn’t inside of them.

Why working on your weaknesses is a waste of time

Though most of us aren’t publicly scrutinized like contestants on that show, all of us have spent considerable time being tested, analyzed, and diagnosed, whether it’s a performance review at work, a personality profile test on Facebook, or a physical check up with our doctor, they all reveal elements about ourselves that tell us who we really are.

Using the work example, most performance reviews show you things that you are doing well and things that could use some improvement. In my experience, this exercise is a complete waste of time. Discovering what we’re good at is difficult enough, why should you spend time working on things that you’re simply not genetically programmed to do?

Follow your purpose, not your passion

Here’s an example of what I mean.

I once worked with a bank based in Canada. They called me requesting “etiquette training” for some of their investment bank analysts. These are basically people who stare at stock market charts on their screens all day. Naturally my first question was, why do you feel they need etiquette training? They went on to tell me that the analysts look disheveled and disinterested during client meetings.

I was shocked, though not because of their appearance. I was shocked because I couldn’t understand why upper management wanted them to attend meetings in the first place.

“Because they are part of the team!” they exclaimed.

I went on to explain that’s not who they are on the inside. They are data freaks. They don’t excel in dealing with people. That’s not their strength. In fact, it annoys them. It obviously upsets your clients, and you. Let them do what they do best!

Upper management was adamant in them attending client meetings.

I did the training but was proven that it only annoyed the analysts and did nothing to improve their client relations.

To be clear, when I speak of weaknesses, I’m not referring to bad habits or

There’s a simple formula that I use to help explain this better:

Results <-> Behavior <-> Attitude <-> Conditioning and Talent

The results you’re receiving are a direct outcome of your behavior. Your behavior is a function of mindset and attitude. Both of those are a function of your

Like the American Idol contestants who don’t make the cut or the analysts who simply want to be left to do their jobs, their success (results) depends upon their behavior (putting in the proper work) being completed with the right attitude and talent.

Think about your current situation. Are you not excelling at your job because you lack passion or because you’re not performing the correct tasks that align with your purpose?

Original publish date: December 18, 2019

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