You Say Po-tay-to, I Say Po-tah-to — The Passion Debate

Neon "Passion" signPassion for your work is becoming somewhat of a hotly debated topic of late. Some people talk about needing passion for on-the-job fulfillment; other say that’s bunk.

In my last post, I talked about the varying levels of passion that people need for professional satisfaction.

Another issue that muddies the water when it comes to talking about passion in your career is that of semantics. Even the dictionary’s definitions don’t agree well!

Among the definitions for passion that includes are the following:

“any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling, as love or hate.”
“a strong or extravagant fondness, enthusiasm, or desire for anything”

Those two definitions are on different planes. The one talks about “powerful…emotion or feeling,” while the other refers to “extravagant fondness, enthusiasm.”

Powerful is one thing — it denotes something strong. OK, fine. But extravagant? That gets into language that is often associated with “over-the-top.”

Depending on how you choose to define the word “passion” can change the applicability of it to your life.

Well, so what about the semantics?” you may be thinking.

It’s important to be clear on the definition that is being used because of mixed interpretations. If an author of a post holds one definition of passion in mind as s/he writes a post, but then you read it holding another definition, the message gets muddied. You may possibly find yourself following or rejecting advice that you don’t really understand as a result.

The bottom line comes down to what I said before: if you are happy where you are at, then go with it! Don’t let anyone tell you what is right for you. Trust your instincts on this one.

Image courtesy of PinkMoose

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