Passion is not excitement

Where do you find passion? How do you become passionate about something? When looking for candidates, employers want to hire people who are passionate about their work. Is it a lot to ask?

Someone looking to make a quick buck to pay the bills will not be as passionate as someone who has been in the field for many years. Programmers are expected to work on side projects and contribute to open source in their spare time. Not doing so concludes that they are not passionate. Is that really true?

I don't remember not working on a side project. It takes a lot of my free time, and I can imagine someone with a family will have less motivation to do so. However, working on my spare projects are not a passion to me. I find it interesting to learn, but I cannot call it a passion.

I look at some talented people on YouTube and I can clearly see their passion in their craft. Passion is a little more than just working on a side project. If I have to redefine passion I would say, it is working on your full time project.

Sometimes it does not pay right away, and that's the whole point. Because you are passionate about it, you are willing to forgo a steady paycheck to work on something you just can't get enough of. It's almost similar to a starving artist mentality in this sense.

For me, I find it hard to work on someone else's project with passion. I don't see myself becoming passionate about my employers product. With exception of being a regular user of the product or a partner. It doesn't mean I don't enjoy working for an employer. I especially like the challenge.

Throughout my work experience, I have seen people quit their job to follow their passion, as they put it. The problem, while quiting, they throw away all the reputation, the experience, the connection they built up on the job and start from scratch.

That's a bad decision. If you are going to work on your own, you have to make the most of it. And the time you spent at your job shouldn't go to waste. If you work five years, then those five years should be treated like a bag of gold you collected throughout the years.

For example, I don't think it's ever a good idea to quit your job for the sake of sticking it to the man. Yes, it might make you feel better because you were working with a horrible boss. But, you will have more values in learning to deal with douchebags then to quitting just to hurt them. After the emotions settle, you are the one left with no job/income.

I have worked with one particular person that gave me hell. Not just me, my whole team. At some point I wanted to burst into flames. But, I learned to deal with him. I did (big breath). Yes I did. And eventually it became OK to be in the same room with him. Sometimes, the worst problems can be solved with having a conversation. You might not agree with each other, but you would have identified what the real issue is.

Everyone speak a different language, and just like programming languages, they each come with their own culture and beliefs. You will get further by understanding other cultures.

You get a new idea, you get excited about it. You want to work on it day and night. You think about all the money that is going to pour in when you will show it to the rest of the world. It's amazing. Then 2 weeks later, you remember the project as a distant memory that you filed in the someday folder. That wasn't passion. That is just the dreamy feelings we have about the future.

Employment can seriously impact your passion too. You work long hours, you take few breaks, and eventually you are burnt out. Sometimes you may even give up on it and change career. The words that follow usually are "you were not truly passionate".

But I don't think that's the case. That's just your employer abusing of you.

To me, passion is something I have been doing for years. Even if it's not consistent. Passion is something that has become muscle memory. I do it when I have nothing else to do. I do it when I have 5 minutes free. It's second nature. Not only I am willing to forgo other opportunities to work on what I am passionate about, but I constantly do.

It doesn't mean it's a great idea, it doesn't mean everyone should accept it. It simply means I am passionate about it.Passion is not excitement.


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