When making career decisions, we always hear someone says, “Follow your passion”, “Do what makes you happy”. While we can’t blame these people from quoting the late Steve Jobs, founder of Apple for it, but I believe they’ve completely misunderstood him. Steve Jobs was passionate about Zen Buddhism, western history and dancing when he was young.
How did he become the founder of one of the biggest innovative company in the world? If he is passionate about Zen Buddhism, he should be a teacher of it. If he is passionate about western history, why he didn’t become a historian? Or if he loves dancing when he was young, why he did not become an entertainer?
While there’s nothing wrong about following your passion, because some became successful in it, but does your passion will be able to sustain your everyday lifestyle?
You see, following our passion is not always the answer. It’s the same in making touch decisions that set the motion of our career for the rest of our lives. Here’s a principle that I can teach you in making tough decisions:
“Always follow the math.”
You are more likely to make sound and simple decisions if you follow the math, rather than your passions. How many times we have witnessed that passions burned-out people?
When I was teaching students or some maybe even younger, I noticed that a few of them was passionate about science and engineering, most of them were passionate about music, arts, fashion, dancing, and sports. But in reality, following this passion makes even harder to find a good job with it, compare with those who pursue careers in the field of science and engineering.
Passion doesn’t last. Passion usually lasts for a year. Your dream job doesn’t exist. You have to create it. Maybe you are saying, “Nah! I hate math!”
Now let me give three reasons why you should follow the math.
1. Following the math in making decisions will minimize your risks.
Let’s say for example you want to tender your resignation just because you are not happy at your work anymore and decided to follow your passion.
Will quitting your job in exchange for your passion will pay your bills?
Will your passion can sustain you to become successful?
If you quit your job just because you are not happy, most likely you will never ever find the satisfaction you want even in your next job. You see, you will become even less successful by following your passion. Thinking through the risks and following the math will help you to minimize it.
2. Following the math will allow you to pursue your passion.
Did you read it right? Yes. You don’t always need to quit your job just to follow your passion. I’ve met a lot of successful people who did not follow their passion.
They pursue it while they were employees! Staying in your current job will give you a paycheck every month, why kill the goose that produces the golden eggs? Rather than quitting, why not just stay in your job, do everything you can do and use the paycheck you are receiving from your company to pursue your passion on the side?
To be able to pursue your passion on the side like me and my friends, you need to make sure that your work and life are integrated well. Stop being a workaholic. A workaholic is different from a hard-working individual.
3. Following the math will not only benefit you but also it helps the people around you.
Don’t just treat your job as a means to make a living. Your job is sacred, your job helps your family, your job helps the poor, your job creates more jobs because of the taxes you are paying in the government. Nurture it, be proud of it.
When making decisions always follow the math, always be logical and not emotional.
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.” — Colossians 3:23
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Latest posts by Dhenn Espiritu (see all)
- How To Act Like a Leader Before You Become One — October 12, 2019
- When Making Tough Decisions, Always Follow the Math — September 15, 2019
- Building a Culture of Trust — August 11, 2019