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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.

SEE ALSO:  You Need GPS for Your Life

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?

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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.

And last­ly,

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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I blog about my dis­cov­er­ies and learn­ings with per­son­al devel­op­ment, blog­ging, writ­ing, pub­lic speak­ing, and pub­lish­ing. I am a Jesus fol­low­er. Each month, I send out a newslet­ter with free tips on those top­ics.

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