Is passion overrated?

No, not that type of passion.

Is passion for your work overrated? There are an ever-growing number of resources about “finding your passion” and “follow your passion and the money will follow.”  I have nothing against passion or being passionate about your job. Ideally, everyone would work in job for which they are well-suited and passionate.

This is not an easy topic for me to discuss because part of me believes that if I even suggest that law may not be my all-consuming passion, people will not not want to work with me. I wonder, however, if the focus on finding your “passion” for work is overshadowing the equally important values of working hard, being responsible and providing for your family – even if you are not pursuing your passion. I suspect for every person who has pursued their passion, making it their life’s work, there are several more people who simply work hard every day, without complaining, building a solid life for themselves and their family. These people are not pursuing their passion in their work, but they are accomplishing equally noble purposes: responsibility, dedication and support of their family.

I must admit the story of a person giving up a stable job to pursue what has previously been a hobby is often more titilating than the story of the person working hard every day for 30 years at a mundane job.  However, I do not believe at its core, the mundane job, that provides an income and supports a family is any less noble than the passion-inducing job. The glamour of the pursuit of work-related passion should not be allowed to overshadow stability and responsibility; both should be equally celebrated.

So to end I will ask a question: Do you believe passion for work is overrated? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Posted by Shawn Roberts

On this blog, I write about and try to answer practical Oklahoma legal questions. My focus and most experience is in estate planning and business issues including Oklahoma non-compete law. I make a living as an attorney in the law firm I founded, Shawn J. Roberts, P.C. in Oklahoma City. I live in Edmond with my wife Amy and my two children, Sam (19) and David (11). We live precisely in the path of where the "wind comes sweeping down the plains."

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