Don’t Follow Your Passion (3 Ways It Can Ruin Your Life)

By Roy Goldstein

February 12, 2021

Follow Your Passion is Bad Advice


don't follow your passion

Good news:

Not knowing what to do with your life is normal.

Bad ones:

There’s more behind the “following your passion” idea than what you think.

I found mine in lead generation (my num. 1 online business recommendation), but…

I’ll be honest:

It’s not all gold that shines.

Here’s what you NEED to know (and don’t know) before following your passion.

follow your passion meme

First, what exactly is passion?

Here’s the thing:

The advice to “pursue your passion” is quite ambiguous. 

What exactly is passion? 



How do you know when you have found yours? 

And what do you do if you have more than one passion? 

Do you have to pick one and hope to get lucky? 

There’s also the part that comes later. 

Is success guaranteed? 

And if your passion doesn’t lead to success, does that mean you’ve failed, or does it just mean it’s time to find a new passion to pursue? 

There’s a lot to think about.

Truth is:

Pursuing your passion can be a difficult journey, and yeah. 

There’re gonna be some obstacles along the way. 

follow your passion and struggle meme

So, What is It and How Do You Find It? 

Some define passion as a “strong and difficult to control emotion.” 

It’s the overwhelming feeling that you are supposed to do something, 

Like creating dresses that make brides feel the most beautiful like Vera Wang.

Or putting a smile on people’s faces (often through fun dance moves) like Ellen Degeneres, or hitting some of the best baskets ever like Steph Curry. 

Passion is a universal experience, but the way to discover that passion it’s different for everybody.

According to “Eat, Pray, Love” author Elizabeth Gilbert, there are two types of people in this world: 

Jackhammers and hummingbirds. 

And they find and experience their passions in a very, very different way. 


hummingbirds & jackhammers quote

Jackhammers have a single passion, so that’s what they go for with all determination. 

They usually find it at a young age and dedicate every second to it 

(For example, an MLB player spent hours after school hitting balls in his backyard and still spends 3 hours a day in the batting cages during breaks seasonal). 

Hummingbirds, on the other hand, are always changing interest, looking for new experiences. 

They’re the type of person who spend a few years working on Wall Street and then go off to write a book and finally decide they want to compete in triathlons before opening their own hot chocolate shop at the base of a ski resort 

(Side note: Hummingbirds make great dinner guests.)

There’s no right or wrong way to find your passion. 

But understanding which group you are in can help you create a way to pursue it true to your personality. 

Now, A Reality Check on “Following Your Passion”

The thing is:

The key to success requires more ingredients than just passion

But let’s face it: 

It takes a lot more than just finding your passion to be successful. 

Real life looks like this:

passion vs job graph

Passion drives us to do what we want to do, but passion isn’t everything

Dedication, talent, and perseverance are also incredibly important factors. 

You’ll never be a successful musician if you don’t learn to play an instrument and practice every day.

And if you don’t have hand-eye coordination, your chances of becoming a basketball star are pretty slim. 

No matter how much passion, dedication, and talent you have:

You need to be willing to work every day to get where you want to go.

The idea is that the key to finding a great career is to identify your greatest interest – “your passion” – and pursue a career involving that interest. 

It’s an attractive message:

Just commit to following your passion, and you’ll have a great career. 

And when we look at successful people, they’re often passionate about what they do.

Now, I’m a fan of being passionate about your work. 

Research shows that intrinsically motivating work makes people a lot happier than a big pay cheque. 

I also think it’s really important to find something you can excel at.

However, three ways “follow your passion” can be misleading advice.

1. Yhy You Shouldn’t Follow Your Passion

your life limited picture

If you’re interested in literature, it’s easy to think you must become a writer to have a satisfying career, and ignore other options.

But in fact, you can start a career in a new area. 

If your work helps others, you practice to get good at it, you work on engaging tasks, and you work with people you like, then you’ll become passionate about it. 

The ingredients of a dream job are all about the context of the work, not the content. 

Two years ago, I would have never imagined being passionate about helping small business owners get business, but here I am.

Many successful people are passionate, but often their passion developed alongside their success, rather than coming first. 


Steve Jobs started out passionate about zen buddhism.

He got into technology as a way to make some quick cash.

But as he became successful, his passion grew, until he became the most famous advocate of “doing what you love”.


steve jobs quote

In reality, rather than having a single passion, our interests change often, and more than we expect.

Think back to what you were most interested in five years ago.

You’ll probably find that it’s pretty different from what you’re interested in today. 

This all means you have more options for a fulfilling career than you think.

2. It Can Also Make You Feel Inadequate

Telling people to “follow their passion” makes them feel bad. 

Cause not everyone knows what’s their passion, right?

If you don’t have a “passion”, don’t worry. 

You can still find work you’re passionate about.

Others feel like they have lots of passions, and aren’t sure which one to focus on. 

We need more precise criteria for comparing our options, don’t you think?

3. Following Your Passion Can Turn Into a Trap

If a basketball fan gets a job involving basketball, but works with people he hates, has unfair pay, or finds the work meaningless, he’s still going to dislike his job.

In fact, “following your passion” can make it harder to satisfy the other ingredients.

The ingredients for your dream job. 

That’s because the areas you’re passionate about are likely to be the most competitive, which makes it harder to find a good job.


Here’s the truth:

If you give people an inaccurate idea about how you end up loving your work, you’re going to cause confusion, anxiety, self-doubt, and all the rest. 

The idea that you should “follow your passion” is based on the assumption that most people have a clear, pre-existing passion that they can identify and use to make career choices. 

It’s also based on the assumption that if you really like a topic and get a job related to that topic, then you’ll really like your job. 

Both of those assumptions are flawed.



If there’s one piece of career advice that makes me want to stick a butter knife and twist it in my eye it’s the generic “just follow your passion” throwup spewing out of people’s mouths.

if i hear someone say meme

However, I met a lot of people who are passionate about their work, and there are a lot of different strategies they followed. 

There is no one-size-fits-all, but the most common strategy I saw was one in which passion evolved over time. 

As they crafted their career in the right way, passion for the career actually grew.

The formula underpinning that growth tended to be the following: 

Someone would pick a field that was interesting to them and had interesting options if they did it well. 

Then they worked really hard to get good at what they did, to build up rare and valuable skills.

Once you have these rare and valuable skills, you can start using those as leverage to craft your career, and real passion arises. 

You don’t follow your passion—passion follows you as you work to get good, to craft a really compelling career.

proven online business system

This is what I do for a living: 

Finding out who needs what, then selling that information to businesses who’d like to know that information so they have a better idea where to focus themselves.

I help local businesses get qualified sales leads without having to keep an army of sales and marketing people on staff.

Lead generation is what showed me what passion really is. 

  1. I love generating leads for small business owners and helping them grow their business from scratch.
  2. It’s beginner-friendly and easy to learn. This amazing coaching program right here took me step-by-step to success.
  3. It’s the only business model that’s this highly profitable & easily scalable in the long term. 
  4. You make HUGE money working 5 to 10 hours a week. Isn’t it crazy?
how does lead generation work

I got great advice about halfway through college that I’ve always stuck to. 

“Even the coolest job in the world is only cool for about 6 months, then it’s still your job. Do something that makes a lot of money and have fun in your free time”.

The premise of following your passion makes sense on the surface, but I’ve learned to grind and make as much money as possible so that I can have fun with my family and friends when I am not at work.

Do whatever you feel is right, but let me know what you think down below!

If you want to make money, check out my #1 online business recommendation

For real.

Think about it this way:

The years in which you’ll be most productive are coincidentally the best years you have to live. 

You’ll never have so much energy, vitality, youth and strength to build, learn and create, as in this age. 

And it doesn’t matter if you are in your 20s or 50s, you will never be as young as you are right now. 

If you waste your time doing work reluctantly, and only do what it takes to comply, you are throwing away your best years of life. 

I’m not exaggerating! 

You can have big regrets later in life. 

Living unsatisfied makes you dead in life. 

Life is short to do a job you don’t like, and it doesn’t allow you to show the world what you are capable of. 

(Note that I say “show”, not “prove.” You don’t have to prove anything to anyone.)

Right HERE there’s a job that can inspire you, motivate you, give you money and passion.

If that isn’t an “all-inclusive”, I don’t know what it is. 

C’mon, don’t miss it out!

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