The Benefits of Doing Something You’re Passionate About Over Money


When it comes to choosing a career, the advice of many people is to think with your head and not your heart. Obviously, the advice of most people isn’t worth the paper it’s written on, so you don’t want to listen too closely to what the average man in the street thinks, unless you’re gathering material for a comedy routine.

The problem is that this kind of thinking (head over heart) is derived from a message that is drummed into children repeatedly from a young age in countries with developed economies, which is that the world is a big scary place full of uncertainty.

The ingrained subtext, which can be hard to shake off, is that security is paramount. In these societies, people are also usually taught to value money as being synonymous with success.  It’s only natural, then, that the advice of most people is centred around job security and potential earnings.

You don’t have to accept this, because it’s wrong

The message from schools and the media needs to be this way because of the bottom 80% that keeps the top 1% adequately stocked with truffles and champagne. The elites, of course, would like the remaining 19% to keep quiet. No sense in encouraging the ‘dreamers’, or who will man the factories and warehouses?

If you’re reading these words, it probably means you’re already switched on. You’re not prepared to meekly join the chorus being bleated all around you, because you’ve realised there are possibilities beyond what society seems willing to offer the average person. In fact, you’d shun the title of ‘average’ the way a vampire shuns garlic. The mantle of mediocrity is not for you.

If you’re just in it for the money, it’s not going to satisfy you

Unless your passion is a religious one, or you want to join some sort of commune, money is usually a necessity. And you may indeed, at first, have to make the acquisition of it a priority. Unfortunately, that’s where most people tend to stop, because of that scary message that they must actively protect any job they’re lucky enough to get.

Following that path does not lead to happiness. The higher paying accessible careers tend to be that way because not many people want to do them. You can certainly make a lot of money doing them, but it’s not likely you’ll wake up everyday feeling enthusiastic about what you do.

One important thing to consider is that just because you have a job, doesn’t mean you have to stay in it. Job security for a job you don’t want to have doesn’t really make any sense, if you think about it properly.

If you’re not currently doing what you want to be doing, you need to be planning how you’re going to change that situation.

The secret ‘they’ don’t want you to know

Getting out of bed every morning to go and do something you don’t want to never gets easier. In fact, the longer you do it, the more difficult it gets. The stress this produces can only have a negative effect on your life, and can even shorten it, courtesy of all the cortisol accumulating in your system.

But getting out of bed to go and do something you love never feels like a struggle. Remember the Saturday Morning Effect? Kids that practically have to dragged out of bed to go to school from Monday to Friday are suddenly wide awake on Saturday morning, eager to watch cartoons and deny anyone else the chance of a lazy weekend.

The secret is that doing work you love doing doesn’t feel like work at all.  It truly gives you pleasure, and because of that, you can devote yourself to it without remorse.

Why it’s good to make the change

Apart from the obvious factors, here are a few of the benefits that will arise from moving out of a dead-end job and embracing your passion:

  • You might live longer – A job you love is certain to be less stressful, which leads to lower accumulations of harmful substances like cortisol, a stress hormone that has serious debilitating effects throughout the body.
  • You’ll feel happier – When your work is in line with your passion, you won’t resent spending time doing it. It’s quite easy to deduce that this should lead to a greater overall sense of happiness and satisfaction.
  • It might improve your love life – Happy people may seem more attractive and usually feel more confident, so for a start it could help you attract people to you. But once you’re in a relationship, because you’re not stressed from your job, it’s likely you’ll have a more harmonious household. And that can lead to other rewards.
  • You could be more productive – It stands to reason that when you’re doing something you don’t like, you don’t have all your attention focused on your task. At least some part of your mind has to be thinking about how much you don’t want to be there, and what you’d rather be doing. So once you actually are doing what you’d rather be doing, that’s not a factor any more. Now, you can devote all your attention to the work, and you’ll probably enjoy greater success because of it.
  • You can be an inspiration to others – A really great thing about doing what you love is that this provides opportunities to share your enthusiasm with others. Enthusiasm is contagious, after all. But, you’ll also serve as a role model to other people. When they see you successfully living your dream, they may realise they can follow their own dreams, too.
  • You won’t have regrets – We saved the greatest benefit for last, which is that far too often, people come toward the end of their life regretting all the dreams they let die. If you don’t let your dream die, you’ll never have cause to regret that you did. And if it’s already too late for you to follow that dream you once had, you owe it to yourself to create a new dream that you can achieve now. Life is way too short to not have dreams.

Live the life you want to live, not the one you’ve been told you should

Why spend your life conforming to somebody else’s template? Your life is your own, and you should live it to the full.  Find your passion and then use it to make your life better. If you truly want to achieve something, the only thing that can really stop you is a lack of determination. The International Career Institute offers a huge range of courses that can give you the skills, training and knowledge to pursue a career you really love. Browse our course list today!

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Gladys is the Associate Director of Admissions & Student Services with over 10 years of experience at the International Career Institute.