According to Cal Newport, an American writer, following his passion to make it his profession would be a mistake. So, how to work with passion and what career choices to follow to avoid cracks?
Let's take the example of a rabbit passionate about mountaineering. Here's a pretty white rabbit, out of school, on his way to the Employment Mountain. He's ready to climb the slope, as fresh as a roach, as big as a lizard. Its ultimate objective: to reach the Mont Travail Passion.
With his pretty bag of knowledge, his gourd of techniques and a few linguistic specificities encorded in his belt, he is a pathfinder killer, a pro of the brush, an ace of the dynamic contour. His dream: follow his passion and become a great Mountaineer-Director-Artistic.
Hey there, come down, you little rabbit, the road is full of obstacles, and you'll have to climb dru!
Let us imagine that the rabbit in question, like his comrades, has put himself in the head to go straight to the top. In his ascent, he will probably fall face to face on a crevasse (lack of knowledge), meet two or three terrifying grizzly bears (chiefs or awkward colleagues), and end up exhausted, lacking oxygen, well before the summit (sick leave).
Why? Why? It's very simple: all concentrated on the top, the little rabbit is still not trained enough, nor enduring enough, nor fast enough to climb this summit. Even though he bought all his equipment from the old camper - who trained at the best universities if you prefer - he still doesn't realize he's afraid of heights. Then, of course, he will surely one day reach the summit, but if climbing is his only goal, he will not go far.
When we absolutely aim to do a specific job because it is our passion, there is a good chance that we will not succeed immediately, if ever. It is not the Passion summit that we should aim for; it is better to take the small paths that lead to this summit. Who says crossing roads does not necessarily mean slowing down the pace, on the contrary. By climbing intelligently without going straight to the Mont Travail Passion, little rabbit will become stronger, more able to work then with passion.
If the rabbit dreams of becoming an Artistic Director of Mountaineering; rather than damaging his paw pads on steep, straight rocks, shouldn't he rather examine what is so exciting at the top of Mont Travail Passion? Maybe at the very top there are things that are also in the plains and on the mountainsides?
Let's analyze this summit together, shall we? There is fresh air in the Alpage de la Créativité, a pretty and sharp Refuge de la Culture, the famous Aiguille de la Spontanéité playing in the clouds, and the Ruisseau du Management. It's a beautiful mountain.
What really pleases the rabbit, is it really mountaineering itself, or rather discovering an alp, sleeping in a refuge and turning the stones in a stream? In other words, maybe the rabbit has a fixet about becoming the best mountaineer in the region, when in reality, he aspires to the great outdoors and might as well start by accepting to become a surfer, yes.
By becoming a surfer, the rabbit could strengthen his arms, enjoy the fresh air, sharpen his spontaneity, and use these new skills to climb to the number 1 refuge. Later, why not become a shepherd, take the opportunity to read lots of books in the refuge of culture, then guide a herd along the management stream, and finally graze them in the alp of creativity? The rabbit doesn't know it yet, but by preferring the flourishing plain to the Mont Métier Passion, his life will change.
Without really realizing it, 10 years later, little rabbit is not only happy to have taken these new roads that satisfy his passions, but he now has all the necessary skills to climb the summit. Finally, instead of becoming a mountaineer, he preferred to become an animal photographer, his real hidden passion.
Back home after long and green years, the rabbit will have learned that passion should not be the ultimate goal of a career, and that the Mont Métier Passion is often a decoy. By developing talents to nourish this passion, by cultivating it on other roads and by making it grow by all possible means then, only and much more surely, the rabbit succeeded in making his passion his profession.
Text: Tiphaine Guillermou