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Passion vs. Paycheck

DeAnna Supplee argues that NOW is the perfect time to pursue your dreams. logo

An alarming number of individuals are pursuing a job solely for the size of the paycheck.
(Courtesy of Microsoft Office Images)
"Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."-Howard Thurman

I am sure it is not news to anyone that the United States of America is currently experiencing its worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Time after time, especially in the midst of the 2012 presidential election, words such as deficit, foreclosure, debt-ceiling, and bailout are being tossed around like a hacky sack amongst friends—and don't get me wrong, I think the present financial crisis is absolutely a serious matter.

However, what is also serious is the alarming number of individuals who pursue a job solely for the size of the paycheck. And who work in an industry that they are not passionate about in the least bit. You may ask, "Why would anyone do such a thing?" The reason being that dreadful, mythological word known as: Security.

My second piece of advice to you is this: There is no such thing as security in a life that is worth living.

And as of late, security can no longer even be found in those safe, guaranteed-paycheck jobs. Due to the current job shortage, and other factors, young adults are flocking to whatever job openings they can find and accepting the first position offered. Then once a job has been landed, though they achieve the financial security, they are not satisfied and secure with themselves. According to a 2011 Gallup survey, 71% of workers were "not engaged" or "actively disengaged" from their work. There can only be one plausible explanation: Lack.Of.Passion. Human beings yearn for meaning in their lives. They desire work that serves a purpose and makes them feel as if they are actively contributing to the world in a meaningful way.

How many times have you called a customer service rep, been waited on at a restaurant, snapped at by someone in your office—and you could just tell these individuals would rather be anywhere else in the world. Then their mood completely mutates your positive spirit into a negative one for the rest of the day. Because they lack passion in their everyday lives, you now have to reap the consequences.

Everyone has the right to wake up in the morning excited about passion-filled work. Denzel Washington once defined a passion as the "one thing you would do for the rest of your life regardless of pay." The amount of money you could potentially make should never be a factor when deciding what career you choose. This is your life we are talking about! You only get ONE! Why spend a second of it doing something you do not love? (I have received very few answers that have nothing to do with money.)

Convinced yet?

Let's look at it this way. The "safe" road is typically the road frequently traveled down and trodden. There are set steps to take, and any deviation from those steps are considered failures. When you choose your own road, a less voyaged road, you play by your own rules. You make a mistake; you change your mind, so what? You have no one to compare yourself to because no one's passion, no one else's path, will/should ever match yours exactly.

In the midst of this financial crisis—what better time than the present to just go after your dreams? What is there to lose? You can never truly fail when you decide to make an investment in yourself and in your happiness. You will always profit when passion is involved. The worst case scenario, you get to spend the rest of your life doing exactly what you love. I'd take those chances over a guaranteed (and extremely taxed) paycheck any day.

Here is next week's quote: "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." – Thomas A. Edison


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