The Passion Pitfall


Follow your passion. A good mantra I’ve tried to follow. I think good advice I’ve given to people. Seems like a good way to lead your life.

And so it’s funny that in all the different places I’ve worked I’ve always found that being passionate about my work just got me in trouble or got me mocked.

Companies want you to be passionate about your job as long as the passion is totally in line with management expectations.  A long as the passion doesn’t question anything. As long as you don’t make the people around you uncomfortable.

That’s not passion. That’s blind acceptance. That’s a cult.

When I wasn’t being told to curb my enthusiasm, I was being questioned by coworkers as to why I cared so much. You get so worked up about these things. Like I need to be chastised by a bunch of flatliners.

I get worked up because I care. I actually want to make a difference. And since I unfortunately have to have a job, I’m going to at least make an effort. I’m going to try. And trying for me is both intellectual and emotional.

I mean, it’s not like I am some crusading jerk. I don’t take myself too seriously. I’m irreverent. I have good perspective. I understand the realities of the situation.

Passion requires optimism. And optimism in a corporate world filled with jaded and cynical minions is seen as naivete or a threat. I might be naive but if you’re feeling threatened that’s on you not me.

But guess what? I’m not going to stop being passionate. And you know what else? You should join me. Passion can become a habit.  A wonderful, enjoyable habit.  A liberation. Freedom.

About joegergen

To evoke a smile. That's all. Author of "Methane Wars: A Fable" and "Lear's Fool" as well as various poems and some these painting things as well.
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