There have been several posts over the last few weeks about this subject and I will have to address it in more detail in the upcoming weeks, but for now, I will just ask the same question that Brian asked in his post Your passion, which was basically a response to Tony Morgan’s post (Resign Today!) and John Piper’s recent book, Don’t Waste Your Life, do we use our passions for a purpose?
The photo below reminds me of how many people really do pursue their passions. Brian lead worship at Encounter last week in his usual passionate way, and I took this photo of Jak that night, who is always passionate about his music, and yesterday I was able to join in on a photo shoot with JÃ¤k in Birmingham (more on that in an upcoming post) with photographer Stephen Devires.
The context of the other posts were more in line with your career path or if your passions and work line up with each other, and if they don’t, they should, so basically do something about the situation. It is a simple thing to say, if you don’t like your job or if you are not passionate about what you do, quit. It is not such a simple thing to actually do, or is it?
I can think back to all the jobs I have had over my lifetime, going all the way back to when my friends and I would pull golf balls out of the lakes on a golf course, clean them up, then sell them back to the golfers who just lost them. That was fun, it was certainly profitable, and I was passionate about my work. Being 14-15 years old and making money from what felt like was something fun was great, and certainly didn’t seem like “work”.
There were many many many others jobs of course that I couldn’t stand and problem is, eventually, you probably will quit doing what you are doing (or change something) if you are not passionate about whatever it is you are doing. That is, unless of course you are content with living in the box and as Craig Groeschel put it at the Catalyst Conference (see The Speakers at Catalyst08 Conference from Thrusday // Catalyst Photos to see if you think he looks passionate about what he does), unless you want to just keep working for that boat or car, then die.
Some jobs I was passionate about when they started and not so much down the road, but either way, I would generally not stay with a job too long without passion for the work. I have a degree in Accounting but would rather make nothing as a photographer than a bunch as a CPA in an account firm (nothing against that of course, just not my thing).
As far as Brian goes (since he started this), all you have to do is read Brian’s blog for a few posts and you can determine what he is passionate about without even asking him. Serving the Lord, his music, and his wife, and essentially, that is what he gets paid to do. To lead people in serving the Lord, through music while being the best husband he can be. I can really connect with that because mine are very similar, just exchange the musician for photographer… but… there is a difference in being passionate about something, and being able to earn a living at what you are passionate about doing.
Is this a rare thing? I think it is, but the scale is different for everyone? If you are passionate about money like a Donald Trump, you probably aren’t going to be happy with a career with a non-profit organization. Brian is lucky, he is doing what he loves and he is able to earn a living doing it, but he didn’t always get paid to lead worship and I am guessing that Groeschel didn’t always get paid to speak at conferences either. One of the best blog posts I have read lately about these issues is from Seth Godin called Maybe you can’t make money doing what you love, but his blog is filled with great content just like this.
Sometimes we have to just keep cranking away while we wait for our passions to meet up with our careers or pursue our passions on the side. I am passionate about not pursuing my passions on the sidelines.