3 reasons why following your passion is smart

If there is no passion in your life, then have you really lived? Find your passion, whatever it may be. Become it, and let it become you and you will find great things happen for you, to you and because of you.’  T. Alan Armstrong

In yesterday’s blog post, we talked about why going for the deferred life plan does not pay off in the long run. So what about choosing to create legacy with something that is your passion? As you can guess by now, my advice would be that yes, following your passion is the thing to do.

But what if your passion is in an area that is not mainstream? An area that is judged as ‘uncool’ by the rest of the world? Wouldn’t it be more sensible to create legacy in something that is in vogue, something that is likely to sell and therefore guarantee that your aim of creating legacy is financially sustainable?

Here’s what I think: following your passion, no matter how ‘uncool’, is the most sensible thing you can do. Here are 3 reasons why:

1. ‘Success’ may never come. Even if you choose to create legacy in an area that is en vogue, you may never reach what most people see as ‘success’ – i.e. recognition, money, fame and the like. But all that doesn’t matter if you’re working on something you love. You are already being successful through living out your passion on a daily basis, fulfilling your potential. Much better than taking on something that appears ‘sexy’ to the rest of the world, only to be stuck with it without much chance of getting to a satisfactory level so you can move on to what you really wanted to do in the first place.

2. You are more likely to get through the Dip. Remember the Dip? That awful time when nothing seems to be going right and you just have to keep plodding on? Well, then you also know that at the end of the Dip, your legacy projects finally get the recognition, resources and all the other things they deserve. Trouble is, even if you start a project armed with passion you are likely to have a hard time in the Dip. Without passion, your chances are substantially diminished, and you’re more likely to quit. Which means, none of the wonderful things that could have happened on the other side of the Dip are likely to happen to your project. It’s more sensible therefore to go for a project you care deeply about, no matter how ‘uncool’ it seems to others. They’ll change their mind once you’ve conquered the Dip.

3. You are the one who is going to have to live with your choice. If what others are telling you to choose seems to make sense but doesn’t turn you on, remember that it is you who is going to have to live with that choice. It is you who is going to have to take it through the Dip, daily, perhaps for years and years and years. Yes, making your own choices instead of letting others choose for you means that you may get into conflict with them; but is avoiding conflict with others so important that you are willing to sacrifice what you feel in your gut is the right thing to do? And yes, if your legacy project fails, you will have to deal with the ‘I told you so’ moments, spoken or unspoken, that those same others will pile upon you. But at least you will know that you’ve made your own mistakes, that you’ve failed in something that you have chosen – and most likely, you will want to get back on your feet as soon as possible to put what you have learned from your failure to good use with another project. If, on the other hand, you go with what others have chosen for you and you fail, most of what you have learned in the process will be meaningless, and you are more likely to feel so defeated as to give up on your own ambitions.

Don’t let others decide your life for you. Take charge of your own destiny, and go for your passion. It is the most sensible thing to do.

The time is now.

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Alexa Ispas

I am a social entrepreneur, blogger, and talent scout, interested in helping people who want to create legacy. I have recently completed my PhD thesis in social psychology at the University of Edinburgh, and am originally from Romania. I am writing a daily blog on creating legacy, which you can find at www.alexaispas.com