There are so many people on the Internet that tell you to follow your passion that this has earned it’s own mnemonic — #passionporn.

Nobody questions the idea that they should be doing what they’re passionate about and not something else. But, you still find a whopping majority taking up jobs at a corporate or doing something else that is perceived as less risky because of two reasons.

One, the big worry on everyone’s mind is if following our passion will be as financially rewarding as our perceived less riskier alternative, i.e. whatever we are doing now. The answer to that is clear already and hence a lot of people choose the less riskier alternative. And the people that do choose to follow their passion and start a company or travel the world while freelancing or make their own music do it because they are willing to live with the consequences of not doing as well financially. And if things work out, they have the upside of their choice resulting in far greater financial rewards (orders of magnitude greater) than their less riskier alternatives. So, these are people that understand the risk and are willing to live with their decision either way. And in most cases, they have the option to change their decision and follow the other alternatives they had at any point in time, just that they would be a few months or years behind the ones that went down that path at the time that they themselves could have.

Two, we aren’t really sure what our passion is in the first place. The education system that almost all of us grow up in focuses on eschewing wild dreams and ideas driven by passion and instead pushes everyone to conformity. When there is only one right answer to a question (like in the case of every question asked in class or in an exam) and what ought to be studied is already pre-determined with little to no wriggle room, we spend years trying to play the game well, while we may not really be enjoying the game in the first place. But, this is easier to undo.

Whatever it is that you’re working on, answer one simple question for yourself. Who is more demanding when it comes to the quality of your work? If your boss is more demanding, then it is a sign that you aren’t really that passionate about what you’re doing. But if it is you that makes the push for doing better and improving upon what you’ve done and to explore and learn more, then it’s a sign that you’re really passionate about what you’re doing.

If someone else is more demanding of what you do, then find something else where this isn’t the case.

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