following your passion

There’s lots of talk these days about the importance of “following your passion”. Should you or shouldn’t you, and what happens if you don’t?

Argument Against: Why You Shouldn’t
Some people insist the idea of following your passion is ridiculous, arguing that just because you love something doesn’t mean you can make money doing it, and that there are tons of people making great money performing tasks they fail to enjoy at all. Furthermore, the pundits point out this: it isn’t always an option to pursue doing what you love. In a recent article by entrepreneur and Maverick owner Mark Cuban, he says, flat out, that the advice is “…a bunch of BS. ‘Follow your passion’ is easily the worst advice you could ever give or get.”

Argument For: Why You Should
There just as many people who insist following your passion is the key to happiness, partly because working at a job you hate takes a big toll on your psyche and your energy. These proponents believe that, by doing what you love, it’s easier to find the drive and desire to overcome obstacles that will inevitably arise during your quest for success. One such person is Twesigye Jackson Kaguri, who left a lucrative job to become the founder and director of the Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project. In his article published by the Huffington Post he says, “When asked why I gave up a good-paying, secure job to help orphans, I do not blink. I have not regretted my decision. I wake up happy every day and follow my passion and my heart.”

One person who might agree with the latter is news journalist cum recently fired “Today” show co-host Ann Curry. Before she accepted the co-hosting gig, she was the show's news anchor for 14 years, with nearly 70 overseas reporting trips to 47 countries, and seemed to relish the job. Once she moved next Matt Lauer on the couch, it was painfully obvious her journalistic instincts seemed to clash with the fluffier personality she was expected to display.

Although, by taking the high-profile co-host position she made more money and was perceived as being more powerful. She admitted to Forbes writer Jenna Goudreau “I didn’t ask to be the co-anchor of the Today show; they gave me the job… I was worried about taking this job, about whether I could keep doing those stories… It’s going to be an interesting balance to see how I move forward with this big job, as well as the reporting that is really my life’s work.” Curry seemed to have more self-knowledge than even she realized at the time.

Now rumor has it that Curry may be moving into a foreign correspondent role, one that seems like a much better fit for her – more in line with her strengths and, just as important, with her true passion.  Good luck, Ann!


Next entry

Previous entry


  1. Patrick

    Patrick 09/23/2012 11:21 a.m. #

    "It's damaging to have to put on a new face for work, the place we spend our days. It's damaging to build organizations around repetitive faceless work that brings no connection and no joy."

    ~ Seth Godin, "Linchpin"

Log in to leave comments.