What’s your passion?
Is it a passion for passion? Do you make money from that passion?
Are you so passionate about it that you run 10k races in your wool Men’s Warehouse suit? Or jump into the air on the beach at sunset?
If you type “make money from your passion” into google, there are over eleven million results, most of them blog articles.
That’s how many people have decided to make money from their passion of teaching others to make money from their passion.
All this passion is getting out of hand.
The idea of finding your passion has been around for ages. But where did the rampant craze start?
I blame Donald Trump.
From the very first season of the Apprentice, he’s been appearing in little vignettes during the commerials, shouting at us that “YOU’LL ONLY BE SUCCESSFUL LIKE ME IF YOU’RE PASSIONATE ABOUT WHAT YOU DO!” And then, in the boardroom, people will convince him they should stay for another week, just on the basis of passion.
“Why shouldn’t I fire you?”
“Mr. Trump, I’m a very passionate person. I’m passionate about what I do, and I’m passionate about becoming your apprentice. It’s my passion, sir.”
“OK. Passion’s important. That’s a very good answer. Other person, you’re fired.”
Now, every reality competition has taken up the “passion” battle cry:
“I know I underseasoned the pork belly confit, but I’m so passionate about food. Tom and Padma, please let me stay and show you my passion.”
“Standing before me are two beautiful girls. One has a fire for modeling. But she doesn’t know how to smile with her eyes. The other takes be-yooootiful pictures. But the judges feel she lacks passion.”
Guess which one’s staying? The passionate one who smiles with her buck-ass teeth.
Believe me, I’m all for passion.
It would be awesome if we could all be so excited about what we do for work that it doesn’t feel like work. Yay, Monday!
My holy grail is a job that feels just like it felt to do art projects when I was a kid. Nothing made a day zip by like drawing crude stick figures with disfigured feet and dripping way too much glue onto construction paper. There was no sense of time going by. I was one with the Elmers.
So what would give me that same feeling now?
Here’s where it gets tricky, and brings us to three reasons this whole passion discussion sucks.
1. Not everyone has a passion.
To identify your passion, according to these eleven million blog entrees, you’re supposed to think about what you’d do all day if money weren’t an issue. What are your hobbies? What’s the stuff you love doing, are great at, and would gladly do for no pay at all?
Some people don’t have an answer to this. They just mildly like a bunch of stuff and don’t have one thing they’re crazy about. So all this passion for passion that’s in the air makes them feel bad every time they try to figure out what theirs is.
2. Some people know their passions, but have no real-world way to get paid for them.
Here’s what I’m passionate about: my husband, and watching TV. No one pays me to be married to my husband, not even my husband. Don’t get me wrong; there’s a huge payoff. But it’s not an income. (Some people do make big bucks from getting married, but to do that you have to come from Russia or China, and take a loser, mouth-breathing husband that no one could be passionate about, which is why he’s paying.)
As for watching TV, people remind me, “But you are paid for your passion. Because you work in TV.”
OK, back up. I really like writing TV promos, and I’m lucky to do it.
But would I if I had unlimited means?
Nope, I’d be too busy with my passion, which, I’ll repeat, is watching TV. Period.
That’s it. Just sitting there and watching, and making comments, if there’s someone else in the room. So to “cash in on my passion,” I’d need someone to shell out for the privilege of watching me watch TV. They could chime in with their own comments, but only during commercials. Any takers?
I also love dancing.
Hip hop, salsa, house. Love ’em all. But I have bad knees and sucky balance. So I can’t get down on the floor like all those young, Japanese hipsters in my house class. When we’re supposed to do that, I just sort of half-squat in solidarity. And I can’t spin for shit.
Not to mention, dancing pays crapola. But that’s not an issue. Because I know I’m not good enough to charge for it.
Which brings me to the next consequence of passion fever:
3) Being so-so to lousy doesn’t stop some people from “making it happen”.
They have a hobby, and all their friends and family tell them they’re good at it. So darn it, it’s time to take those words to heart and follow their bliss! Which means, what we’re facing is a nation of people quitting their jobs to make really ugly earrings.
Luckily, there’s always someone with a passion for running bad crafts fairs.
What about you? Have you cashed in on your passion? Do you think everyone has one?
Argue with me passionately in the comments.