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Stop Chasing Your Passion

How many times have you been told to “do what you love and the money will follow?”

Maybe you have heard - follow your passion, do what you love, chase your desires and while that all sounds fabulous - let’s be honest - it isn’t always realistic. This is old school mentality, that is touted by coaches, and leaders, and given at keynotes all the time - and

Truthfully, it could be the message that is holding you back from ultimate success and moving forward in your life.

I know you are probably thinking “What the hell, Erica?

But hear me out. There have been THREE Standford researchers' findings that have said this whole “follow your bliss” is all a load of you know what. OK, so they didn’t quite put it in my terms, but you know what I mean.

Let's dive in!

First, when we say follow your passion, it is kinda saying you only have ONE passion.

You KNOW I am a fitness fanatic. I spent over 10 years in the fitness industry as a certified personal trainer, yoga instructor, and Certified Health Education Specialist. I love everything about health and wellness. I also realized, that unless you are Oprah's trainer, you are not going to get that far in the fitness industry.

I had hit my growth ceiling in the fitness industry when I worked for a large corporation - and I realized I was capped out in the pay band, and there was no room for growth before I was 25.

If I had only ever focused on my passion for fitness, I never would have uncovered my other passions. These Standford researchers say that when you focus on only ONE passion, you narrow your focus, and it prevents you from uncovering other ideas.

Let’s take my 8 year old Hudson for example. He loves baseball. If he only ever played baseball, he would also miss out on his love for basketball and football! If he had narrowed in on only baseball, he would be missing out on so much!

This leads me directly to point TWO.

Just because you have a passion for something, doesn’t mean you are good at it, or that you can make money by doing it!

OK - I love my son, but baseball - let’s just say I don’t think he is going to be the next Babe Ruth.

I feel like this one is pretty easy to explain - you may have a passion for cooking and trying new recipes, but Gordon Ramsey you are not - and that is OK! You can keep that as a passion, but find something else, that provides you with financial security.

Another reason why following your passion is BS - and problematic is that people's passions change over time.

What I was passionate about in my 20's is not the same as it is today. And I believe that my passions will continue to change!

And the last point of why following your passion is BS - is that if you aren’t careful, when you do monetize your passion, and you are making money off it, your passion has now become your work!

Yes, there are people out there who have the financial means to ONLY do the things they love, and outsource the rest, but there are parts of everyone's JOB that they dislike.

When I was a personal trainer, I loved fitness. I was that crazy person that would always find the time in my schedule for my workouts.

Do you know what I hated? Having to work out late. I also hated working out with OTHERS late. That meant, that because this was my business, I had to accommodate OTHERS' schedules - many of which meant late workouts. I loathed going to work in the evening.

So my passion became work, and parts that I loved, were less shiny and fun, because there were parts I really did not like about being a fitness guru.

So if you aren't following your passion - what can you do?

Work is work, and there will always be parts of work we don’t like. But if we LIKE doing something, and we are GOOD at it, and there is a market for it - focus on that. Because I want you to look toward the end game.

Most of us work to make money.

I want you to focus on what you are good at, what you like to do (which may not be a passion!) and what you can make money doing.

What we all really want is freedom - and that does come from financial security. So get out there, and grind until you are in a place where you have financial freedom. Then you can do what you love when you want while providing for yourself and your family.

Do more of what energizes you and less of what drains you.

Early in your career, you may have to slog through some years of doing the work. But as you grow, you will be able to hone your skills and do more of that energizing work and less of the work that demotivates you.

So your task today is not to chase your passions, but instead to live a purposeful life doing things that provide you freedom so you can live a life you love.

Live in the present moment.

But to bring it back to the top- stop chasing your passions as a career goal. Stop believing the lie that you have been told for years and years and years that if you do what you love the money will follow! And focus on living a purposeful life.

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