Passion: How To Pursue What You Love In Work And Life

September 03, 2015

By: Anna Agoncillo
Image Credits: (CC0 Public Domain)
I had an interesting conversation with my sister the other day. It started casually with me asking her a simple question: "Are you willing to do everything in the pursuit of what you love?"

In no time, my teenage sister answered without hesitation: "I am willing to take the risks and take on new adventures in order to get what I love. It is because I want to do something that will make me happy." As a university student who majors in Management and Communication, she added: "It is the economics of life that states - higher risk is equal to higher return."

At first I was amazed that she grasped the topic with seriousness and maturity. It dawned on me how every choice I made led me to what I am impassioned about. It is a sad truth that many people drag themselves to work to do something they are not fond of just to get enough money to survive. This is why I consider myself blessed to be able to wake up everyday and do something I deem as fulfilling and meaningful. 

If there is one thing that I can impart with my future self, I will ask her to continue pursuing what she deeply desires. Only then can I pour my 100% to the task.

Dedicating your life in search for that one thing you love and value the most is paramount. Even Philosopher Dan Dennett claims that it is the secret to unlocking happiness. But, how does one find it exactly?

Fulfillment can be fueled by choice and curiosity however, arriving at your true calling takes a complicated and a highly personal route of discovery. Even my mother agrees that it took her years to find the occupation that she really enjoys. In fact she told me the two days ago: "Sometimes I get exhausted but, I still feel inspired to continue on each day." 

So, if you are lost with no motivation whatsoever, here are nuggets of wisdom that literary geniuses have imparted:


In his 2006 article called: "How To Do What You Love", Graham imparted these sage words:
"What you should not do, I think, is worry about the opinion of anyone beyond your friends. You shouldn’t worry about prestige. Prestige is the opinion of the rest of the world. Prestige is like a powerful magnet that warps even your beliefs about what you enjoy. It causes you to work not on what you like, but what you’d like to like."
If you are doing things solely to gain prestige, honor, or recognition then, you are obviously wasting precious time. Prestige is particularly dangerous to the ambitious - they get hooked too much with attaining it that they ignore their present selves. The ambitious are willing to serve on committees, write lengthy essays, and talk bad at someone's expense just to be on top. 

So, if you want to pursue your purpose, for the love of everything that is good…avoid prestigious tasks! Who likes kiss-ups anyway?


In order for you to understand what makes satisfies your soul in terms of occupation, you must understand the difference between work and labor. A writer, critic, and translator named Lewis Hyde argues that work is an activity that you intend to accomplish through the will while, labor has its own schedule. In a sense, he echoes the opinion of Positive Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi who distinguishes work from labor through a term called flow.

For instance, if you stayed overnight to finish a song composition you are inspired to do then, you have experienced the flow and creative labor. The flow happens when you lose track of time and others around you because you feel that you are a part of something larger than yourself. You are in the zone!

Finding the occupation you are passionate about will ignite the zone and let your creative juices flowing. And, in that zone, you will be unstoppable.

In Hugh Macleod's book called "In Ignore Everybody:And 39 Other Keys to Creativity" he imparts credible and knowledgeable advice form his years in the creative scene. He scribed these words:
"Art suffers the moment other people start paying for it. The more you need the money, the more people will tell you what to do. The less control you will have. The more bullshit you will have to swallow. The less joy it will bring."
His opinion is resonant to my own beliefs of importance of personal choices and setting up societal boundaries. Simply, the best way to give your all and attain the approval of yourself (or others) is not to need it. 

It may seem like a paradox for a moment but, when you allow others to dictate your decisions and movements then, you will lose a fraction of yourself. You will lose the freedom of choice too. 

I know a lot of people who were not the brightest students at school but shined brilliantly in their careers. They followed their dreams and poured every ounce of sweat, heart, and soul to it everything they do.  

I shall conclude this post with a quote from Steve Jobs:

Enjoy the previous posts: Psychology Of Love And AttractionFlowers Can Improve Your Emotional Health And Other Areas Of Life

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