Whatever is beautiful in this world - love, affection, achievements - is bound to be meaningless without the passion that accompanies it. From now on, we advise each other to "follow our passions" in every situation, and emphasize that the road to happiness is through being passionate.

Think about it!

How many times have you been told to "follow your passions"?

The concept of tracing passions is a widely used discourse that is mentioned in almost every moment of life, from graduation speeches to job postings. Even ourselves, we often make such sentences. If we need to look at the case from a scientific perspective, we can give the following example: During the researches on Columbia Business School MBA senior students, it has been observed that one of the most important goals of more than 90% of the students regarding their dream profession is "to work in a job they follow their passions".

According to another survey conducted on 3,000 full-time employees, only 20% of the participants were found to be passionate about their work. This research, conducted by a group of experts, which I myself am a part of, revealed that most of us do not even know how to follow our passions, and therefore have serious difficulties in successfully realizing this idea.

So how do we get out of this impasse?

Research on passion shows that we need to understand three important points: (1) passion is not something one will find somewhere, rather it is something that already exists and needs to be developed; (2) it is very difficult to pursue passions - especially when they lose their former strength over time - and (3) passions can lead us to irreversible mistakes, so it is important that we define the limits of passion well.

Don't Expect To Find Your Passion Somewhere.

One of the common misconceptions people have about passion is that passion is a fixed thing: you either have passion for anything or you don't. The main problem with this belief is its limitation, which makes us think of passion as something to be discovered or something we will understand when it happens to us, or that we will learn by doing. As a result, we search for that “suitable” position that will ignite the passion in us throughout our life and try to work in many different jobs. And in doing so we overlook the fact that cultivating one's passion for any job will often be a time-consuming process. In the creation process of passion, the skills a person has, his confidence in himself and relationships are equally important.

Indeed, research has shown that believing that passion is a fixed thing can make people less likely to discover new topics, thus depriving yourself of access to new potential sources of passion. Moreover, it is inevitable that you will tend to give up any task that is difficult for you, without effort or even with sleight of hand.

In order to pursue your passions, you must first challenge the assumption that passion is something to be discovered. Instead, you should focus on developing a passion and spend a great deal of your time and effort on this. For example, you may spend more time exploring the work you do (or arousing your curiosity) much more passionately and working on topics that inspire you; you can evaluate your work with the meticulousness of a craftsman. It will also help you to know your colleagues, the passions your friends have and how they evaluate the work they do. Moreover, this will open up opportunities to help each other follow your passions.

Finally, let's remind that. Nor do you have to look for passion at work. If your job is a job that will not allow you to pursue your passion, or if you have never had the desire to pursue passion at work, you should create enough time and space to go out of your business life and continue activities that you will be passionate about yourself.

Focus on What You Value, Not What Is Fun.

One of the most common ways we try to follow our passion is to chase the activity that gives us the most joy or fun. In a study analyzing the graduation speeches of the last 10 years of the world's top 100 universities - particularly the parts where the speakers advise students on how to pursue their passions - it was observed that most of the recommendations mentioned in the speeches had the idea to "focus on what you love" as a way to pursue passions. It has been suggested. However, some of the speakers described pursuing passions as "focusing on what you care about". There was a subtle difference between the two views, and this difference was just as significant: focusing on the things you love associates passion with what you enjoy or makes you happy, whereas focusing on what you care about will unite your passion with the values ​​you have and the effect you want to leave.

As a result of a study conducted with over 100 employees, it was discovered that the participants who thought that pursuing passion means trying to find the thing that gives them joy, were much less likely to be successful in business than those who defined passion as the things they care about, and the first group could quit their jobs altogether within 9 months. .

So why do you think pursuing something you care about when it comes to passion tracking makes you more successful than those who don't?

Because this belief helps you to "eliminate the obstacles that will come your way in pursuing your passions", which will form another part of the research. If you wish, let's try to explain our motives with the following example: The literal translation of the word passion - "Leidenschaft" - in German, is "the ability to endure difficulties."

Studies on passion are not limited to these. Another study found that passion has an extremely weak relationship with employees' performance at work. But the powerful combination of passion and perseverance (ie the degree to which employees adhere to their goals in troubled situations) can explain the much higher performance that can be demonstrated in the workplace.

The truth is that passion is something that decreases with time, so if you focus on just being happy, your efforts will fade over time. But if you focus instead on how you can achieve what matters most, your resistance will be much higher. Do not forget that the resistance you will exhibit while pursuing your passion will be the key point of this work, because pursuit of passion is an ongoing and challenging process.

Clearly Define the Limits of Your Passion.

It is also important to understand when or in what situations your passions may not help you in pursuit of passion. My colleagues and I have found in our research that passion will only be linked to a much stronger performance when (a) other people also agree that the person is passionate, and (b) passion is expressed in an appropriate context. (Because people think that passion is much better suited to certain industries, passion is not sought in accounting, but passion in consulting, etc.).

So what does that mean?

Imagine presenting at your workplace on a project you believe in passionately. Expressing your passion will only benefit you if you talk about a scenario where your audience will equally believe in what you offer. If they are not on the same boat as you, your passion for the subject will not be enough for you to gather them around the same idea. Similarly, if you are an entrepreneur, expressing your passion for your opinion can help enthuse potential investors and find financial support for your venture, but the passion you will articulate when discussing any deal text may not have the same inspiring effect.

In another study, it has been found that employees who are defined as passionate will be much more likely to be abused than their colleagues. As a result, it is a well-known fact that these people love their job, which means that their colleagues may be much more likely to ask passionate employees to take on tasks they do not want to do or to work overtime. This conclusion underlines the difficult paradox: It may be helpful to express your passion, because your colleagues will witness this passion and admire you once again and perhaps lead you to even greater success. However, on the other side of the coin, there is the following truth: The same colleagues may demand that you undertake tiring and even unnecessary work that will go beyond your job description.

In another study conducted by Erica Bailey of Columbia Business School, it was concluded that the more passionate employees, the more likely they are to be confident in themselves. In some cases, having such self-confidence is an advantage. For example, if entrepreneurs had taken into account the early success rate of the company they founded, many would have preferred to lock the company door. This excessive self-esteem and passion can also have devastating consequences, as employees in most work settings are likely to tend to act on their own rather than pursue the feedback essential to success. If you are passionate about what you do, you should remember that this may lead to unrealistic beliefs about your own abilities or performance. Being in such a situation can make it much more crucial for you to get feedback from others and explain where you actually stand. Otherwise, you will convince yourself that you are making progress thanks to your passion, which is actually not the case.

Many of us want to follow our passions, and companies / businesses encourage such an attitude. But the truth is that none of us know exactly how to do this. Therefore, in order to achieve your goals, you must first learn to consider the concept of passion as a challenging and ongoing process that can be developed, and never forget the fact that it can turn into something that can even get you out of the way.

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